Have you ever seen people who say “I love you” but never show it? What about a church? I have seen churches say they love kids, youth, seniors or the community but never show it. I have seen churches who say they care about people dying without Christ yet give more to their building fund than to missions or to the community. Wednesday night I experienced a church love the community, kids and families. AsburyUMC in Madison Alabama (www.asburyumc.ws/) had their annual “Back to School Night” and the boys and I spent a couple of hours with them. They had tons of stuff for the kids like a water slide, moon bounce, rock climbing, and other inflatable activities. They had face painting, a local Christian radio station, (88.1 FM) with a van playing music along with giveaways. They had tons of FREE FOOD like hot dogs, BBQ, popcorn, drinks, ice cream, and snow cones. My 12 year old ate 5 snow cones I am embarrassed to say. They had ministry info tables. They had tons of free stuff for kids that shared the Gospel. They had Karaoke. They had bingo with free prizes. And much more. All of this was free for the community and my boys loved it. Thank you Asbury, Pastor Alan Weatherly, Pastor Jimmy Aycock and all of the other wonderful staff and volunteers who made this happen. You certainly ministered to a tired church planter’s wife and their two boys who are in town for a few days. May God richly bless you for your ministry to us.
Now before you email me that your church cannot afford an event of this scale let me inform you of something. When I served with The Navigators at UCSD my budget was low to non-existent. But I put on events all the time. Fun events on campus and many other activities where anyone could attend and receive without us expecting anything in return. I was able to do this by getting donations from companies and organizations. Most will do stuff like this because it is a tax write off if you are a 501c3. It does take more work and more planning if you cannot finance it yourself but it can be done even if you have a budget of zero.
I wonder if we sometimes limit what our ministry can do because we don’t know where the money will come from. Or maybe our vision is small because we look at what we are capable of instead of who God is. I have certainly done this, have you? There have been times when I think “How can we do this” because we don’t have the financial or people resources. Today I feel drawn to John 15 and also to Jeremiah 32:17. How about you? Is there something you would like to do at your church or in missions but hesitate because you don’t have what you think you need?
Any experiences out there of big ministry on a little budget?