NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BNc) — Get out of the building and do something for Christ! That’s the sentiment of the Somers Avenue congregation’s “Light’s Out” program announced for Dec. 30.
In the church’s bulletin, “The Observer,” for Dec. 2, came this announcement:
The building will be dark at 5 o’clock, Sunday evening, December 30th. Pews will be empty and the lights will be out. The electric lights will be off, but our lights will be “out” shining in the community. We anticipate another faith-building, enriching afternoon which will involve more than 150 members singing at nursing homes, baking cookies, writing cards, delivering cookies and cards to fire and police stations and hospitals, visiting other members, and prayer warriors intensely praying for this good work. Mark you calendars and make your plans for “Lights Out!” on the 30th.
Sean Ashberry, who works in preaching and member involvement with the congregation, kindly replied to BNc to explain further the Lights-Out approach. He tells in his words.
Over the course of 2012 we sought ways to collectively and more effectively reach into our community through service, as a way to open doors for relationships and to introduce the gospel. Our shepherds have challenged us to think outside the box in ways that meet both the physical and spiritual needs of our community.
From that, the “Lights Out” concept grew. Our inspirational verse is Matthew 5:14-16. We are taking our lights out into the community and therefore you will find the “lights out” at the building during this time.
Our first Lights Out was in September. After our regular Sunday morning assembly, we shared a meal together and then mobilized into our chosen areas of service.
One group baked and delivered cookies to local fire and EMS personnel. Included in these packages were handwritten notes and cards from our members thanking them for their service. Another group traveled to a nursing facility and sang hymns and visited with them.
A third group met and prayed for the other groups along with those whom we might influence for the cause of Christ. And a fourth group visited some of our congregation’s members who needed some encouragement.
It was a wonderful, uplifting experience for us as families and friends could be found serving side by side.
Our next Lights Out is December 30th and we are planning now to continue this concept into 2013 and beyond, and not limit ourselves to a 5th Sunday.
Our plan is to build on these first steps and continue to identify and meet the needs of the community in which we live. This extends beyond the community of our building into the neighborhoods of our members who live all over central Arkansas.
We understand the church is not identified by its building, but by the Spirit of the Lord living in his people. And as the people of God we are committed to letting our lights out before others, so that when they see our good works, God will receive all of the glory.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He sometimes writes “7 Points.” http://randal.us