Ministry #6 | Status No
Noble Baird | Community Center Director
When I came on staff here at The River in January of 2014, I was given the opportunity to serve one day a week in our community center. From my first “Maintenance Monday” as it was called, I was amazed at everything that went on in the building. At the time, I was working alongside John Rigg who was in charge of our community center. That first day, he walked me around the building and showed me all the different items we had available for the community. From winter jackets and boots, to kitchen appliances and food, it was so awesome to see the donations we had received from those in the church and surrounding area.
In Luke 3, we continue to dive deeper into the life of John and more specifically, into his ministry. Luke writes in Luke 3:10-14, “And the crowds asked him. ‘What then shall we do?’ And he answered them, ‘Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.’ Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, ‘Teacher, what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Collect no more than you are authorized to do.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.’” In this passage, John is teaching the people about what it means to really love the community. John was challenging the status quo of the people. He was challenging them not for his personal gain, but so that those who were in need would be loved and comforted.
Fast forward three years and I now have the opportunity to be the Director of the Community Center. It is truly a blessing to be able to reach out into the community and bless them in any way possible. Whether it is by providing some kids with new shoes, a family with food for the week, or simply praying with someone who is struggling; we have been given an incredible opportunity to reach our community. John understood what it meant to love the community and all who lived in it. Not only did he love and want to help the poor, but he also reached out to the rich, the corrupt, and the sick. He did this so that they would understand the love of Christ; who was coming.
You see, John challenged the status quo of his time. He told those who had an abundance to give to those in need; those who were corrupt, to not take more; and those who were in authority, to not abuse it. As followers of Christ, we have been given the opportunity to do the same. Like John, we have been called to love the community we live in and to show Christ’s message of love. We cannot simply say give to the community and not do it ourselves. So, will you challenge the status quo as John did? If doing the right thing was easy, everyone would be doing it. Would they not?