It was about four years ago when I realized there was more work to be done. It was a normal day of work followed by a stop at the local YMCA for a little exercise before heading home for the evening. I was following my regular routine when I saw a young girl walk by me. Something about her caught my eye that day. I have been working in Girls’ Ministries for about twenty years, but that day, I saw an emptiness in her eyes that really bothered me. Sometimes, when we see people in need, we may go through our list of all the things that we are doing already for the Kingdom. I’m sure you have a list similar to mine, but are we touching everyone that God has placed in our reach?
On this particular day, I realized that I was not doing enough. This young girl was probably doing her daily routine just like I was doing mine. How many days had our paths crossed but our eyes had never met? Did this young girl know that she was made in the image of God? Did she know that her life has a beautiful purpose? This really bothered me. I was sure she wasn’t alone, there were others like her. How could our community help them? How could I help them?
Acts 2:42-47 talks about how the early church ministered to their community. There is a lot we can learn from them. In reading these verses, there were some keywords (from the NLT version) that jumped out at me: devoted themselves to fellowship, sharing everything, worshiped together, sharing meals, great joy, generously, and enjoying goodwill. It sounds like the early church was onto something great! First of all, they devoted themselves to teaching. We should always be willing to learn.
They devoted themselves to fellowship and to the sharing of meals and prayer. I hope that we will make spending time with family and friends a priority and pray for them as well.
They shared everything they had. In a world where we are told to get all you can, we need to be reminded that we are to help others who are in need. The early church made sacrifices to take care of others in their community.
They worshiped together in the Temple. In a culture where you never have to leave your home to hear a sermon, it’s wonderful when believers actually get together and worship together! “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47 NLT).
Again, there is so much we can learn from the early church! They spent time with the people in their community, they made sacrifices and helped others, they shared meals, and just did life together.
The young girl that caught my eye that day is the inspiration that started a Community Girls’ Day in my hometown four years ago, and it’s been held every year since then. That first year the girls heard the message that they were fearfully and wonderfully made. They were told that each of them has a special God-given purpose and that God has given them dreams to fulfill. The girls were challenged to never let anyone take those dreams from them!
Community Girls’ Day is a special day that our local Girls’ Ministries at South Henderson P. H. Church sets aside each year to love on the girls in our community, share in a good hot meal and just do life together. I’m thankful for a wonderful group of volunteers that share in this vision! We don’t have to know all the answers to life’s questions or have a ton of money in the bank; we just need to share the love of Jesus. We never know what happens in their lives from day to day, but on this day, they are our special guests. We make sure there is no doubt that they are somebody special. I’m thankful that God will allow all of us to love on His children! I pray that we will all use the example of the early church to make our communities a better place.
*Pam Rooker serves as the conference Girls’ Ministries director for the Cornerstone Conference. She and her husband Scott attend the South Henderson P.H. Church, where she also serves as the local Girls’ Ministries coordinator. Pam is a loving mother and grandmother and loves to travel the world on missions trips.