By Adrienne Luke
In Xenos, home church night is one of the most important nights of the week. It’s a time when servants of God and friends of Christ come together to take in scripture and spend quality time with one another around some tasty snacks. But sometimes, for one reason or another, members have to miss home church—maybe the flu, an opportunity to meet with a non-Christian friend, or even a mandatory work meeting. These things happen.
Recently the Hunter/Riggs home church took a few nights to serve their community.
Scott Rader is a member of the group and says the holiday season often brings low attendance—members travel to visit family, some host relatives and friends for days at a time, and other holiday work parties and activities. This can leave the group of those remain on the small side—maybe 10 or 15 people. Scott says for this reason his home church considered planning a social event or organizing a volunteer opportunity at a food pantry. In order to provide this opportunity for the most people the group decided to volunteer for an organization called Firefighters 4 Kids. Firefighters4Kids is a non-profit that operates during the winter holiday season, providing toys to children in need in Central Ohio.
Members sorted and packed pallets full of bins of toys, and enjoyed supporting this charity so much, they decided to make it a habit each holiday season. For the last 5 years the home church has cancelled its meetings twice during the month of December so members can volunteer together. Because of the volunteers’ work, this past year Firefighters4Kids called the home church leaders directly to ask the group to help out for an additional week in December.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
The Hunter/Riggs home church exemplifies this call. And while they have sacrificed their time and effort, Scott says they reaped unity and deepened relationships that come from serving the one, true King. Their names definitely don’t appear in lights yet they bear a witness for God that is pleasantly aromatic to the employees of Firefighers4Kids and NBC4, which supports the group. It was appreciated by the home church guests who join them in the volunteering. And their work is especially meaningful to the families who receive the toys. The home church doesn’t meet in the typical fashion yet its members receive God’s reward—the very presence of God in its members.
Attending home church meetings is very important and it is only natural to set aside that time each week.This was an unusual alternative that one group tried for serving the Lord and their community.
For more ideas about how to serve in the central Ohio community, check out the Xenos Christian Fellowship Volunteer Opportunities page. You can learn more about volunteering for Firefighters4Kids at www.firefighers4kids.com or by calling 614-633-5259.