What happens next after the initial 6 months of food pantry incubation?
At the monthly Missional Community Network meeting on Nov 20th, we discussed the progression of the pantries. We have seen many people accept Christ as their Savior. How about living a life that reflects Jesus as the Lord of their life?
You may be wondering why I asked the question above. There’s a difference between making Christ as your Savior (accept Jesus in your heart) and as your Lord (the way we live our lives shows who’s our Lord)? Perhaps I can write about this on my other Blog.
In 1 Cor. 3:1-3, Apostle Paul was talking with the church and its leaders. He mentioned that there’s spiritual progression. In the early part of the Book of Acts, thousands of people were being saved and the next thing that they did was to baptize the new believers. Then the new believers grew in faith and became disciples themselves.
So, that’s our next phase – offer them to be baptized. In January, one of the FHL partnering churches (Tree of Life) will be baptizing many people – those who accepted Jesus in their heart since May of this year.
However, people will not just come if there’s no trust between the two parties. In order for us to earn the trust of others, we need to take the steps to relate with them and to get to know them. One way is to invite the pantry guests for a soup or a cup of coffee to talk about them instead of how good we are or how spiritual our church are. People just want to have friends. They’re tired of fluffy talks and un-authentic meetings.
Last Saturday, Nov. 22nd, one of our partnering churches (Monte de Sion) prepared 2 kinds of soup and dessert for the pantry guests. Two families showed up (I believe this was the best scenario since we want to spend time with everyone) and we exchanged pleasantries. We learned more about their families, the neighborhoods and some ideas how to better serve our neighborhoods.
In the end, Monte de Sion will offer children ministry during the pantry, pass out flyers to the neighborhoods about the pantry and their church (this was discussed during the food pantry class), possible family portrait outreach and launching a small group in February!
I can sense that the next phase of the incubation process will be exciting! There are so many possibilities and opportunities that are in front of us. We just need to be more conscious of what God is telling us along the way.
Please let me know if you are interested in finding out more about this simple but powerful ministry. We need your input, help, assistance and prayers. We need to add more food pantries that are focused on people rather than food and having more interest in their eternal destiny rather than feeding them with a few meals. We need you as move to our next phase. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call FHL office at 317-578-3370.