The following was written by Chad Quarles, Outreach Pastor at Music City Assembly of God in Nashville, TN
Recently, my wife and I had to take our daughter, Madelynn, to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN due to her seizure disorder. We were there almost all week. During our stay we had the opportunity to be ministered to by the organization, Habitat for Hope.
This organization, founded by Mark and Mylissa Horrocks, provides relational support, lodging and meals to families who have short and long term hospital stays in the Memphis area. When we were there I think we only bought two meals the whole week and we always had a place to rest our head. They have created a whole network of volunteers throughout the city who will take time out of their day and money out of their pockets to hang out with families in local hospitals and bring them meals. Their volunteers served with excellence and passion. It was truly remarkable. They never just dropped food off and left like they were in a hurry. They sat with us, shared our pain and offered encouragement. Without their support it would have been a lonely week because we don’t know anyone in the Memphis area.
Mark frequently reminded me that the lodging and meals are not the primary focus of the ministry. They are tools that enable them to create relationships with families during potentially difficult times in their lives. This notion continues to challenge me greatly.
For the ministries and acts of service, both inside and outside the church, in which I am involved is my focus on building meaningful relationships or on building successful organizations, tools, systems and structures? I think it is so easy to lose sight of the “point” of such ministries and in doing so lose the opportunity to truly show the love of Jesus to those the ministry intends to reach. Where is your focus?