Since long before I arrived at Pathway, every month after the church gathers to worship God through prayer, songs of praise, fellowship, and Bible teaching, people pick up a reusable bag and a grocery list on their way out the door to participate in our Bag Hunger outreach. A week later, when the church gathers again for corporate worship, dozens and dozens of bags come back filled with goodies to be distributed through partnerships that we have with ministries and organizations who address needs in our community.
Along with other ministries of mercy through Pathway, why is Bag Hunger important to us as a church community?
From the very inception of the Church in Acts, God’s people have been set apart to be different and to make a difference.
And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. — Acts 4:32-33
The early church community was different than any community in the world. At first it’s easy to assume that their behavior is what makes them different. However, it’s their identity and their motive that really sets them apart — they are the people who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians in the early church believed that Jesus resurrected from the dead and, in doing so, brought the first glimpse of the kingdom of God into this broken world. When Jesus passed the mantle of ministry onto the Holy Spirit inspired church, their motive mirrored Jesus’ motive:
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. — Matthew 6:10
Ministries like Bag Hunger give us a chance to show love to people in need, which is wonderful! But in doing good deeds, let’s not forget our identity and our motivation: We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave us the first glimpse of God’s kingdom.
We are different…and because of that, we can make a difference!