Next weekend, Calvary is closing our doors; four locations, eight worship gatherings, all closed. Someone once said that every pastor should ask themselves the question, “If the doors of our church closed forever, would anyone in our community notice or care?” Ever since I heard it, that simple question hooked deep into my heart and it hasn’t let go. Next weekend we are closing our doors — not forever, just for the weekend — to go out and serve our community. Love our neighbors. Be the church, rather than just go to church.
600+ people from Calvary and 100+ people from a handful of other local congregations will be cityserving (www.sc-cityserve.com) through over 100 different projects. From raking lawns to siding a mobile home to fixing up homes to visiting folks in the nursing home, we will be seeking to be living proof of a loving God. Really what we are doing is planting seeds; seeds of grace, seeds of kindness, seeds of service. But it is amazing what God can do with a seed.
Andy is a PSU alum. He attended Calvary as a student and a couple of years ago, he sent us an e-mail that included a short God-story. A former co-worker of his had been struggling through a divorce. When Andy was a student, he had invited her to Calvary a number of times, but she never came. For a variety of reasons and past experiences, she had been turned off by church. In the fall he had visited her while he was in town and while he was at her house, he noticed that the handle from her screen door was missing. He noticed because she was using a piece of string to open the door.
When he got home, he emailed a CityServe leader to see if any of Calvary’s lifegroups would be interested in the opportunity to go out, be the church without walls, and fix her door handle. His email was forwarded to a man who just happened to have some spare screen door handles in his garage. He drove over and put it on and had a good chat with her. Andy writes this, “Soon after (she got her new door handle), she went to the small white church on Houserville Rd near her house. I am 95% sure she’s made a decision to follow Christ! I think the show of support by a church where she never even went really stirred her heart..and for her to finally start to pursue God after this… it’s awesome!”
Part of me wants to shake my head and say, “For crying out loud, it was just a door handle.” And then I heard Jesus saying, “Yeah ain’t it cool, what I can do with a seed.” Don’t miss the significance of small seeds…and listen, never stop looking for opportunities to love your neighbor. It’s not a once and done kind of thing. You have to keep planting seeds over and over and over again. We don’t want Calvary to be a storehouse of seeds that never get planted. We want to be scattered so that God can grow a 100x harvest.
If you haven’t signed up for CityServe there are still about 70 spots left. Go to www.sc-cityserve.com (only until Tuesday 4/9 at noon). Click the link below for more info.