There have always been a lot of churches in our part of the world, but have you noticed how many more have popped up in the last few years? The new ones show up in all kinds of places, from old church buildings that established congregations have left behind, to storefronts, to libraries and schools, to office parks. They may look nothing like the churches many of us grew up in. But the people who worship in them enthusiastically every Sunday morning don’t care.
All they care about is that it’s real and relevant to their everyday life and Truth is spoken there. They just come to spend time with Jesus.
Want to know another way to make your worship real and relevant? Live out what you learn on Sunday every other day of the week. You encounter opportunities to do that every day. Jesus gave us an example of how to do this in Matthew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” You serve Him whenever you help others in need … like when you help Sheltering Wings support victims of domestic abuse.
Yes, Sheltering Wings is a shelter that provides a safe haven for women and children who are escaping abuse. But our work is about more than freeing families from abusive relationships. We provide children’s services to stop the cycle of domestic abuse before it begins. We are a women’s shelter where women get the support and skills they need to become independent and self-sufficient. When we embrace those in need and fear, we’re embracing Jesus. The same happens when you step up and help.
How can you … just one person … do that? There are so many ways. Start by educating your friends and family about the realities of domestic violence. Encourage your fellow church members to join together and make it clear that you oppose abuse and embrace victims. Bring us into your workplace to educate managers and co-workers about the warning signs of abuse and steps everyone can take when they see them. Be alert to signs of abuse among young people you know, and don’t be afraid to step in and speak up about teen dating violence. Finally, use your social media networks as a way to spread word about Sheltering Wings and our activities.
Sheltering Wings wouldn’t exist if not for a handful of volunteers at a church food pantry who noticed that many of the families who came in for food were bruised or fearful. They saw Jesus in those troubled eyes, and stepped up to share Christ’s love by starting a shelter. Every time you help a victim of abuse or call attention to the problem, you’re doing the same thing. You’re making your faith even more real and relevant and making a difference in someone’s life.