Wednesday, June 27, 2012
How a Church of 50 People is Rebuilding an Entire Community
The building that had once housed the Lakeshore Baptist Church in Mississippi, where Don was pastor, was no more. But this storm brought added dread to the temporal losses of real property. When a tornado lifts a roof off a building, you put it back. When a building burns to the ground, you rebuild. But when a hurricane wipes out entire cities, taking not only homes and churches, but entire industries, you don't just lose the church building. In a very real sense, you also lose your church.
"That was one reason that, even though we were insured, we chose not to immediately rebuild," he said. Eventually, the people who remained at Lakeshore built a temporary edifice where seven years later they still hold worship services. But once the worst was over and the church members once again gathered in the Lakeshore community, Pastor Don says they found another, more important reason not to rebuild. "We just couldn't fathom giving all of our attention to putting up a church building when our entire community was virtually homeless."
The result? This small church, which just after Katrina had around 35 members, didn't rebuild their church. Instead, they rebuilt the community of Lakeshore!
Since 2005, Lakeshore Baptist Church has worked with multiple partners, including our Association, to put more than 100 families in the area back into their homes. More than 60 of those were total rebuilds.
It was a good day!
Did you read that? A church of 50 people has rebuilt an entire community of homes! What's your excuse for not doing more with the resources you have? What's my excuse?
In my denomination alone there are more than 40,000 churches. What effect would it have on our country if all those churches served and tangibly loved their communities as Lakeshore does? Would there be a need for Social Security? Nationalized healthcare? Wellfare? Is it conceivable that we could literally change the world by simply loving our neighbors?
Check out everything this great church continues to do here: http://www.rebuildlakeshore.com/