I love many things about the life at The Table, but one thing I get to see is the immediate response to those in need. There have been several occasions where benevolence was needed, both for Gatherers and non-Gatherers alike. Because we don't have a lot of red-tape, and because we have faithful givers, we are able to respond quickly and efficiently to those in need. There is just something about a church being able to move and react quickly that I feel drawn to. This ability, literally saved the Apostle Paul's life in the book of Acts. Check this out:
10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.
There are times when the church should wait and pray through something. However, we sometimes use the "we'll pray about it" as an excuse to do nothing. There are also times that the church is paralyzed by the process it takes to research, gather estimates, meet, get additional estimates, gather additional research, have a town hall meeting, check the by-laws once again, call a business meeting, vote, to realize that the numbers you got a year ago are no longer accurate because the process took too long. How about you? When was the last time you were available to "act at once" for something your church needed? Are you giving financially to your church so they can respond quickly to financial needs within the community?
With sincere love for each of you,