Mike Jentes, pastor of thequest in the Short North section of Columbus, Ohio, shares the following experience in this week’s e-mail update to his congregation:
Last week I challenged us to be risky for Jesus…and invited us to an experience where God had to show up. We took that risk together on Sunday night.
People showed up at our house and we looked at a passage in Acts 13. It tells us that the Holy Spirit spoke to a group of people and that their action of response was prompted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-5). We really want and need that kind of direction in our lives.
Sometimes we feel like God is done speaking to us…and we grope around acting like He doesn’t…but we believe that God speaks to us: through the Scriptures, through other believers, through situations, through common sense, and in our everyday lives. We also believe He wants us to do something.
So Sunday, I asked those gathered to get into groups of 2-4 (kids counted in!). Then I gave each group a $10 bill and gave them this assignment: Figure out what God wants you to do with this $10 and do it. We’ll gather in an hour and half or so to hear what God put in your hearts and what you did.
We put God to the test–and He guided and directed us in very different ways for each group. Isn’t that just like Him?
One group went to a restaurant with eyes open to see what God might want them to do. They ate a bit (on their own buck) and the thing that emerged for them was to send the money to a single new mom who has been connected to thequest.
My group started out to connect with a homeless person who a couple of us saw on our way to the gathering. We went to find him, and couldn’t. So we stopped and prayed for more direction. A few options came forward and we sensed that God was prompting us to get a grocery gift card for someone who was actually in another group. We also were able to get her daughter a cookie card…for a free cookie every time she goes to the store!
Another group that I was proud of was three of our elementary boys with one of our men. They started out with wanting to buy toy cars with their money. Then they wanted to by a REAL car and a house.
The reality of $10 sunk in and they began to think about sharing this gift with others. One of the boys remembered something about a cancer hospital for kids. They agreed God wanted them to send the money to the hospital. They wrote a letter to the hospital. They even recruited more donors and ended up with a $25 gift to the hospital.
It was amazing the diversity of what God wanted with the $10, and it was awesome to know that when we did it…we did it through His direction.
May we continue to live under His direction every day.