Millard Fuller often said, “Grace is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. It gets to the very heart of the Christian faith, that God loves us in spite of our faults.”
In contrast he pointed out, “The word ‘disgrace’ carries a powerful meaning in the opposite way. It’s up to good people to come together in a common cause of putting to an end things that are disgraceful.”
At The Fuller Center, we feel this way about housing. Millard observed, “The house is the foundation stone of human development. It’s what roots are to a plan. If a home is shaky, the lives of anyone who lives there will be shaky, too.”
The problem is enormous. The economy is tough. But God has given us the resources and the challenge to help our neighbors in need. (Luke 10:25-37)
Christians believe they are required to live under Jesus’ double commandment:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Matthew 22:35-40)
If we truly believe this, then we must be called to take action. What then shall we do?
It is up to each individual to discern the best course of action given their own community context. One first step is to resolve to identify a need and get organized. We are promised that through God all things are possible but you will need a good time-tested strategy.
Because you are reading this blog, I can imagine that you may be looking for a suggestion of how to get started. Consider The Fuller Center for Housing Faith Builder’s new church program.
Are there homeowners in need in your congregation or in your neighborhood? In our Faith Builders Operations Manual, we have the tools to help you interview them, plan out a project, fundraise and get to work utilizing The Fuller Center Greater Blessing repair ministry.
Millard said, “It’s just plain wrong for people who live in comfortable surroundings and who know how some of their neighbors live and not want to do something about it.”
So we have a New Year’s resolution opportunity. It is our responsibility as people of faith, but service to others is a privilege and a blessing. Sometimes it is life-changing for the volunteers. Churches with vibrant missions programs are churches that grow. Most importantly, the work you will be doing will help stabilize a house for some folks who can continue to call it not just a home but a home of gracefulness. This is truly the Greater Blessing!
Happy New Year, everybody!