Sunday, March 1, 2015
Faith & Works & Shoe Boxes
This past Wednesday evening I lived out the dream of every Operation Christmas Child shoe box packer. I attended a shoe box distribution...
Well, sort of.
We had our monthly OCC area team meeting and after some necessary preliminaries I informed the five team members who attended that they'd been invited to go to a special meeting at a local church to receive a shoe box.
They obediently lined up and we marched to another area of my home. I'd hung crepe paper decorations to make it more festive, and after everyone was seated I welcomed them to the event and started the DVD of an actual shoe box distribution in the Dominican Republic in 2009.
I prepared a special shoe box gift for each team member and my plan was to have them open their boxes right along with the children who opened their boxes on the DVD. Unfortunately, my DVD drive malfunctioned and kind of ruined the moment.
But...we did eventually get to see the majority of the distribution video and the team members seemed to enjoy their boxes (my adaptation of the "Sur-thriv-al Kit" shoe boxes that our regional director, Leigh Fisher, prepares for us at our retreat each year.)
The idea of the distribution activity was to help us all refocus on the goal of our team--to promote OCC in our area so more children around the world will get a chance to have a "gospel opportunity" and learn of God's love.
We talked about how to recruit more members for our team. Our team is very focused on prayer, so as we discussed recruitment, one member said, "God is our recruiter." We agreed to continue asking God to build our team.
I'll confess--after the meeting I wondered if I did enough to "translate the cause" for why we all need to do the hard work of recruitment. Prayer is definitely important, but we also need to ask God to give us opportunities and boldness to invite others to join us.
As Leigh Fisher reminded me on the phone a few days later, "If you want to run a marathon, you can't just pray about it. You have to go out and train for it."
As I think about it, this struggle about how to recruit reminds me of the tension between faith and works in our spiritual life. We can't live without faith, but our faith without our works is dead.
I don't ever want us to recruit in our own power, yet, God is also asking us to "get out of the boat."
Or else we'll never get out of this box.
Posted by Kathy Schriefer at 5:39 PM