This past Saturday, our youth got involved with the Love Fullerton event. This is an event that was spearheaded by EV Free of Fullerton and the chief of police of Fullerton. The event also included the collaboration of 20+ churches in the city and numerous businesses. God blessed it so much that the mayor was involved, city council members were involved, and one of the state assembly woman was involved. In the end, over 2,000 volunteers came out that day to do work for the city – in parks, in schools, in non-profit organizations, on streets – almost anywhere and everywhere there was need, Love Fullerton funneled volunteers too.
As for FHG, our youth worked with Pathways of Hope and ministered to some families going through tough transitional seasons of life. We made brunch, played games, took photos, and one of our men shared about his life living in motels when he hit rock bottom and how he looks back now and sees the hand of God working to draw him to Jesus. Overall it was a great great day!
While it’s fresh on my mind, here’s some random thoughts that came from that event:
(1) When churches lead with care and compassion, even secular cities stop, listen, and follow – It was quite AMAZING to see how from top to bottom, the city of Fullerton followed the lead of Christians. Practical love is very difficult to deny and reject.
(2) The more secular the culture, the more real relationships need to be – This is true at the personal level and the corporate level. Sharing the gospel with individuals takes time. It takes knowing people. Impacting a city takes time. It takes investment on the part of a church. It won’t happen overnight.
(3) Churches should affect the cities they’re in – That’s why they’re in that city. The story relayed to me still rings in my ear: “Churches sometimes feel like leeches. They only want tax exemptions and building permits” – city council member of Fullerton.
(4) Collaboration with other churches does in fact work and is in fact a great witness to the lost.
(5) There are moments to serve God in small personal ways and moments to serve God through the mobilization of many. Both should be cherished.
(6) To whom much is given, much is required. I’m thankful for EV Free and their endeavor to pour their mega-church resources into reaching out and spearheading the way. More growth to you!!
(7) Teens love to serve. They just need opportunities. Nothing makes faith more real for them than to live it.
(8) Adults love to serve. They just need opportunities. Nothing makes faith more real for them than to live it.
(9) Serving God takes hard work. Lots of sweat. Lots of strain. Lots of time and energy and resources. Lives impacted are never because of the effort alone. God impacts lives. But caring, loving, and serving takes work. There’s no way around that.
(10) The consummation of Christ’s redemptive work doesn’t happen because of Christian’s “renewal” efforts. The kingdom is consummated when Jesus brings it with his literal 2nd coming. That said, the right way to wait for His coming, and the most joyful way to wait for his coming, is to spread the message of the kingdom!
I’m looking forwarding to next time. This year caught us off guard a little bit so we were unable to mobilize the whole church at FHG. Next year we’ll be ready.