…just as you learned [the gospel] from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf. ESV Colossians 1:7
When I go on mission trips the people I serve with often teach me more than I teach them. Wow, have I ever seen that this week! Our M-Fuge group has the privilege of serving with Pastor Rick from Amazing Grace Outreach Church. He has such a heart for the city of Lynchburg, and has taken me under his wing the past two days to teach me how to love a city and bring people to Christ.
In the 1970s, Rick was the heroin dealer in his neighborhood. God has a sense of humor, and after bringing him to Christ, sent him back into his old neighborhood to redeem it with the gospel. Wow…Christ has done some amazing things through Rick’s ministry. About 10 years ago, they began with a house church. In the first year, they baptized over 100 people. God provided a building free of charge, and now they run a clothing ministry, food bank, health clinic, and computer lab (just to name a few of the things he showed me). They recently acquired a home they use as a halfway house (similar to the LifeWorks house my church is involved with). Today we interviewed two men in rehab that will be transitioning to their home. Our M-Fuge groups has been partnering with Pastor Rick and his team hosting a block party in a low-income apartment complex. The Amazing Grace team grills hotdogs, the kids come out, and our team plays with the kids. In the past two days we have been able to minister to over 40 people, including some of the staff at the apartment complex. Partnering with the body of Christ is always exciting.
On Thursdays, I review my relationships. Sometimes I consider those God has called me to reach. On other days, I reflect on those God has put in my life to guide my spiritual formation. This week, Rick has served a great role. What about you? Who challenges you to grow spiritually? Whose life are you emulating? Obviously we follow Christ, but He usually gives us human examples who are a few steps ahead of us in our spiritual formation. May you identify these individuals and learn from them this week.