— Jim Purtle is Youth Pastor at the El Dorado Springs, Missouri Church of God (Holiness) and serves on the Harmony Hill Youth Council.
When we give in to despair, most of the time no one else knows. On the outside, we continue to do ministry as usual, but the life and effectiveness of our ministry is gone.
Through this fog the words of God shine a light of hope.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is. 41:10).
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Is. 26:3, 4).
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5, 6).
God is still sovereign. His arm is not too short to save. He is not running out of miracles. Keep praying, caring, serving, loving. Never give up.
— by Jim Purtle, Harmony Hill Youth Council member, youth pastor at El Dorado Springs Church of God (Holiness), from his article in the December Banner.
A few ideas for things your church can do to reach out to your community:
Check with the local school nurse or counselor to see if there is a family (or families) who are particularly needing some things provided for Christmas. Make a list with the nurse’s or counselor’s help and team up with your church to provide those needs.
Plan ahead to get together on a day when schools are dismissed for a snow day, and team up to shovel walks and driveways.
Team up with folks from your church or Sunday school class or small-group Bible study. Print address labels with your church’s address and phone number (you can also make them by hand, but a word-processor-savvy teen in your church can probably help you with printing them quickly if you do not know how). Stick them on some disposable coffee cups and use a rubber stamp (there are lots available with things like the Star of Bethlehem, a sprig of holly, snowflakes, crosses, etc.) to add some color. Make a huge pot of hot chocolate. Go to Wal-Mart (or Pamida, if you are from a small town like ours) and give away hot chocolate on a Saturday morning until it is gone! (Get permission from the store management first.)