(This is part of a regular series of blog posts related to The Fuller Center’s #MoreSmilesFewerShacks 2016 year-end campaign.)
I reread the Gospel of James from the Bible today, and, sure enough, it confirmed that I had correctly recalled the main message of the book — DO SOMETHING!
As Fuller Center for Housing founder Millard Fuller liked to paraphrase virtually all of chapter 2 from James, “Faith without works is as dead as a doornail.”
When I was a very young child, my father was an aspiring preacher. Yet, I hated going to church. Then he became a home builder. And I hated being on the construction site. Obviously, God has a sense of humor as He placed me in a Christian home building ministry.
It was also the right move as this ministry has revealed to me another side of Christianity — faith in action. What I disliked about church as a child was sitting. I sat there in Sunday School. I sat there in the main service. All kinds of folks sat around me … and then went home not to put faith into action, but to put it upon a shelf. That didn’t work for me.
As I’ve heard someone say, “If you’re really a Christian, you won’t have to tell anybody — they’ll see it.”
Christianity isn’t about sitting — it’s about action. It’s not about talking — it’s about doing. The Fuller Center is not a church, but it is a servant of the church. We provide an avenue for churches and church-goers longing to put their faith into action as the Gospel of James implores, repeatedly.
Saint Francis of Assisi is quoted by some as having said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Folks argue back and forth over whether that quote should be attributed to St. Francis. But the point of the quote is inarguable. I don’t care if it came from St. Francis or his tennis partner — it makes good sense. Let your actions do the talking. Or, as I’ve heard someone else say, “If you’re really a Christian, you won’t have to tell anybody — they’ll see it.”
At The Fuller Center, you can preach the Gospel through action, and your faith can become works. Faith comes alive. We take Millard’s admonition that faith without works is as dead as a doornail very seriously. And we remain true to his vision that The Fuller Center was founded as a Christian ministry and will always be a Christian ministry.
By the way, if you’re wondering what led my dad to leave preaching for house building, it was a cow. Yes, he was on his way to preach a trial sermon at a church in west Georgia and totaled his car on a cow standing in the middle of the road. He took it as a sign from God that he actually hadn’t been called to the pulpit. I suspect the cow took it as a sign from God not to play in the road. Dad’s also the person who told me that if you’re really a Christian, folks will see it through your works. He’s now retired from preaching and home building … and he leads a Fuller Center covenant partner in Perry, Ga. Guess we’ve come full-circle.
If your church or your church group would like to know more about how to put faith into action through The Fuller Center’s Christian ministry, browse our website, or give us a call at 229-924-2900.