After lunch the pastor drove me around town and told me all about the demographics, etc. He loves what he does. He loves serving people. We ended up in the parking lot of a bland, gray building. On the side of the building it said something like “Food Pantry” and then it had hours printed on the side, showing the hours of operation.
He went on to tell me that he had approached seven other churches and asked them for help in partnering with his church to feed the community. The county where his church serves is the second-poorest county in the state. Seven churches partnering together to feed people in their county – last year they fed more than 8,000 families!
But this is what really stopped my heart. He said to me, “Bill, there is no way that our church could have fed those 8,000 people by ourselves.” At Cornerstone, our vision is to “Engage 1,000 missional, kingdom-driven leaders worldwide to see communities transformed for Jesus Christ.” My pastor friend totally gets this concept. He knew he couldn’t do it alone. Likewise, Cornerstone is dedicated to bringing together highly motivated leaders who see their churches as missional outposts, making inroads into their communities through networking with other like-minded churches to bring about community transformation.
Their plan was simple, as are the rules. To be a partner in the food pantry you have to attend one monthly meeting and then bring your people and food to the distribution center at assigned times and dates. That’s it. They have taken this to another level by participating in the community Fourth of July parade. Instead of their float passing out candy to those on the street, though, they let the community know they were collecting food for the pantry to be distributed to those in need. It was a huge success.
He also told me that when he has those “crazy” pastoral days (you know, the days when you just want to pack up and leave everything behind) he goes down and works a couple of hours at the pantry where he says that it “feeds him.”
Serving, partnering together, seeing needs met and lives changed. It doesn’t get much better.
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