2015 ServeCharlotte

by Spence Shelton

On November 15th, instead of a normal worship service, the people of Mercy Church scattered around our city to serve six different organizations however we could. Our goals for the day were pretty simple:

  • serve these organizations however they asked
  • expose our church to ongoing ministry opportunities in our community

The day couldn’t have gone better. Couple of stories:

  • That morning one of our teams was heading to a food bank. An hour or less before they arrived a giant shipment of potatoes (literally tons) showed up and only one or two workers were there. They had to get the shipment turned around in 4 hours. They had no idea how they were going to get it done…then up rolls 20 people from Mercy Church ready to get their hands dirty. Our team got the whole thing turned around and was really a blessing in the process for this food pantry.
  • One of our teams went to an addictive disease recovery center. They did the simple, human task of spending time with patients. The center was so grateful to them! And afterward one of the team members went home and applied for a job there. I love when serving others lights up the passions God has given you like that!
  • lastly, I got to personally watch a whole group of Mercy family members witness the power of the gospel at work in a local refugee ministry they served breakfast (homemade!) at. And this group left with action steps and a game plan to embed themselves into the ministry there.

We set aside days like this to serve as catalysts for becoming the kind of Church that loves its community well everyday! One of my dreams is that #ServeCharlotte will be a 365 day a year thing. I long for the time when, any day of the year, you can find at least one follower of christ actively, tangibly giving their lives away for the good of the city God has placed us in. In prep for the day I kept coming back to Jeremiah 29.7:

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

We are exiles. citizens of heaven living as temporary citizens here on earth. And God says to us, that while we are here, we are to seek the welfare of others. To take the gospel in word, and deed, to the city. My family and I are excited to serve Charlotte for many years to come!