Charlotte Adams | Lizella, Georgia
Local churches are the heartbeat of our commission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Every congregation of believers is unique with their very own story to tell and their own ability to share. They each are built with their own special strengths, as well as challenges. This diversity allows us the potential for increasing the work of God’s kingdom and reaching a very diverse group of people. Jesus Himself in the book of Matthew explained to each of us what our attitudes needed to be and then He immediately flowed into declaring over us that, “You are the light of world” (Matthew 5:14 NKJV). What a powerful thought that our God has entrusted us with such a great responsibly, to shine. There is no “plan B” for this spreading of the Gospel, God has placed that authority on us as His believers. In order to light the world, it is apparent we must get outside of the safety of the four walls of our churches and into the communities around us. Our community is an extension of our congregations. As believers, we are all diligently searching for ways of doing just that, reaching our community for the cause of Jesus Christ. It is our heart to serve and serve well. In fact, that is why you are reading this humble account of a girl with a heart to represent Jesus and do it well.
I recently received a message from the “lady in charge,” the editor of the White Wing Messenger, Marsha Robinson, asking me to write an article about how churches can impact their communities during holidays or special events. To be quite transparent, I was certain this lovely lady had contacted me in error. After discovering that it was not a case of mistaken identity that brought her request to my inbox, I agreed to share. If nothing else this should prove to you God can use anyone. I am honored to serve alongside the incredible people of Georgia. The Peach State is my community. And it is their stories that I know personally and their stories I love to tell.
God is opening my eyes to see that when we are sensitive to Him, He will astound us with the opportunities available, even next door.
The holidays, special occasions, and extraordinary needs all bring with them the opportunity for us to shine our lights in the community in which God has placed us. Cornerstone COGOP in Douglas, Georgia, did just that with Easter. This local congregation located in South Georgia had an Easter Egg Extravaganza for the children in their local community. This congregation of 100 stuffed 10,000 Easter eggs. Pastor McEachern shares that even that part of the process proved to reap extraordinary benefits as his social hall was filled with laughter, food, and a sense of purpose as the local parishioners gathered to create a fun day for their community children. Thousands of the eggs were hidden, but a highlight was when a local helicopter owner dropped about 3,000 of the eggs from the air. And the scramble began! There were bouncy houses, food, and prizes to enhance the festivities. Approximately 600 people from this community were on the church property filling the air with giggles and creating memories for a group of parents and children that they will not soon forget.
God is opening my eyes to see that when we are sensitive to Him, He will astound us with the opportunities available, even next door. Covington Drive COGOP, located in the Atlanta area, was visiting an apartment complex across the street from their church. Management at the property saw them going “door to door” and came to ask what they were doing. Following the discussion, the manager suggested they meet with the owner of the property (who lives in Canada) when he is in town. The owner was encouraged by the love, dedication, and desire to serve he saw from this Christian family and gave Covington Drive an apartment in their complex, free of charge, for the church. This apartment is now a place in which the children of the complex come for homework help after school. It is a place of prayer every Thursday. The church also has a Christmas party for the area children that includes gifts and a meal at the apartment. There was a couple in the complex that were living together and began to attend the Covington Drive Church. The church coordinated and paid for the wedding for this couple to get married. The young lady is now a lead singer on the praise team. This connection has brought with it three new church members and eight church attendees. Covington Drive is a church that has an attendance average of near 300. God will open doors if you and I are willing to walk through them.
Our Pantertown COGOP is nestled in the corner of North Georgia. This precious group of people took their congregation outside their local church to bless their local community in remembrance of their former pastor, who recently was promoted to his eternal address. This servant group, calling themselves the “Shepherd’s Herd,” went to the local high school and elementary school to revitalize the entrance planters. The group of 21 used Pastor Roger Hyatt’s truck to haul the mulch and supplies so a part of him would be with them on the project.
It does not matter where you live or the size of your congregation, loving like Jesus looks the same—serving others. Effective Christians are commissioned to go into the world for the cause of Christ. Matthew 22 reminds us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. These are just a few stories of how our local churches are reaching and ministering to those around them. There are Christian churches around the world taking this Gospel to the streets of their communities and living out loud for Christ. Borrowing a thought from one of my favorite verses in the Bible, John 21:25, written by one of my favorite authors about my very favorite person: I suppose that if all the things that His churches do to bless their local communities were written, even the library itself “could not contain the books.”