Faith Without Works
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT) Hebrews 11:1
Faith is so much more than a state of mind to achieve. Our faith needs to produce something valuable or worthy; what we like to call “fruit.” And it is only in stepping out onto our faith that we get to see God at work. Ships in a harbor rarely see glory.
What should our faith produce? Our faith should produce His glory. This means that whatever I produce, I am not the end product – His glory is.
That’s why James’s words, “faith without works is dead,” should be so troubling for every believer and church, because there is no middle ground. The point of our faith is to trust the one who is producing something in us. We produce out of our response in faith.
We moved rapidly to start the Launch Point after school program, out of faith.
After years of decline and rising costs, we had to make the difficult call to shut down our long-running Summer Day Camp program this past year. Since then, we have prayed fervently for an opportunity to serve our community. The need for after school care was clearly the answer to that prayer.
The fruit has been astonishing. Today, in our first day, we had 19 children arrive by bus to our campus, and stay until their parents could pick them up after work. I am not sure who was more excited, the kids or our staff. Anna Buller, our program coordinator, was beyond thrilled to see our growing numbers throughout our day.
One of the biggest concerns from the community was how was this being paid for. We told them that we would be absorbing the cost into our overall programming expense. As we continued to move forward, God affirmed these decisions. Two weeks ago, we received a check for $10,000 from the Community Center of Jaffrey to help bootstrap the program. Last week, a neighbor walked up with another check because she was so impressed with our action.
One month ago, we didn’t have the funds or the personnel to run an after school program. But we had faith. To serve Jaffrey is a part of our mission, our charter – and the opportunity we had prayed for was gift-wrapped on our doorstep.
We didn’t want to drop the ball. So we stepped out to work out our faith, knowing that if we moved, God would provide. And He most certainly has!
The after school program didn’t fit at all into our normal programs. It has some unique challenges, including liability and logistics. It’s uncomfortable, and doesn’t fit into our box. But my responsibility as a leader is to keep a heartbeat on those we serve. I can never let myself think that programs drive what we do here. It will always be those we serve.
What God consistently reminds me of, is that His eyes are constantly looking for hearts fully and imperfectly committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9) What works is God calling you to step out in? Where can we help you take those steps?