BY JIM WINTERS
Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t know, and I don’t care”? Perhaps you have uttered that phrase yourself (I know I have). There may have been what we’d consider a justifiable reason or some circumstances that prompted this outburst. Years ago, there was a popular secular song that contained the words, “One is the loneliest number …” pointing out a haunting truth, yet exposing a vast need found in people everywhere. The sad fact is that there are multitudes of lonely folk who go through life feeling that no one really cares. Someone put it this way: “People don’t really care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Christians (“little Christs”) have the admonition in God’s Word to demonstrate His love while we CARE about the needs of others.
Grace Baptist is blessed beyond measure with a multifaceted outreach when it comes to caring. In fact, it’s what we call our MEMBER CARE MINISTRY. To be clear, this ministry definitely goes beyond just our church membership. In Matthew 25:35-36, 40b, Christ explains what caring involves for us as His disciples: “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me….Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” This certainly extends outside our church walls as we try and extend His care to all.
SEASONED SAINTS – Fellowship for those 55 years of age and over takes place at 10:30 am on the third Tuesday each month. It’s a time of offering up praise and supplications to the Lord, receiving spiritual food for the soul, and then enjoying nutritional lunch for the body.
MASTER’S DAUGHTERS – This group of ladies, whose spouses have departed, meets monthly (2nd Saturday at 10:30 am) for a time of encouragement from the Scriptures and one another. They also regularly stay in contact with one another, making themselves available to lend a helping hand and upholding each other in prayer.
CONTENDERS – Jude 3 gives the background for the name given to these men, whose wives have gone on before them. They strive to “earnestly contend for the faith” while remembering that they are not alone on this pilgrim journey. Christ has promised to be with us every step of the way. There is a godly bond around these gentlemen and a comradery as soldiers of the Cross.
SHUT-INS – Often as God extends length of life to His children, there comes a time when we’re not able to do what we once were able to do; it becomes a struggle getting out like we’d desire to do. This, however, gives an opportunity once again for our “family” to help care and provide for their needs whenever possible.
MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS – When special circumstances arise, we are able to extend care in ways such as carpentry, plumbing, cooking, mowing, snow removal, transportation to medical appointments, minor car repairs/upkeep, companionship, and more. Members who help other members receive God’s blessings many times over.
GRIEF SHARE – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” This includes “a time to lose,” “a time to weep,” and “a time to mourn.” Everyone faces grief in a different way and on a different timeline. We care when people are hurting, but Christ cares even more: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (I Peter 5:7).
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