We watch the news or scroll through our social media feeds and see so much brokenness, so much hurt, so much pain. So often it’s masqueraded by anger, lashing out, and defiance or apathy and regret. It reminds us daily that our world is not right; it is broken. It can seem a little overwhelming. Where do we start? How do we even begin to bring about healing and reconciliation?
We know the answer! We know God is the healer of this brokenness; we know He has already sent the cure and it’s through His Son, Jesus Christ! Sometimes it’s difficult to communicate that in this hypersensitized world.
We draw back and convince ourselves that it’s better left to community leaders, politicians, and pastors to put together grand plans and goals that will bring about the relief of pain and healing we long for. What if these grand plans are not God’s plans at all?
What if we didn’t wait for others to act or enact their big plans? What if each one of us prayed and asked God to give us one idea to bring healing, show us one to which He wants us to be His agent of reconciliation – then we went about living it out? We would not only have 2,000 Stonecroft Speakers sharing the Gospel but more than 15,000 women across the country sharing and showing the love of Jesus to a hurting and lost world.
That, my friends, would make a difference. Luke 10:1 says that Jesus sent out 72 disciples two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. In Luke 10:9, He instructs them specifically that they are to heal the sick and tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you.” When I recently read this verse, I saw it in a new light that fits perfectly with this idea. Jesus didn’t send out in big groups; He divided them into small groups to cover more people. And He told them to heal, care for the people, and prepare the way for him.
One Bible commentator, David Guzik, says the healing was important because it showed that the Kingdom of God had come with power (as everyone expected it would), and the power was evident in acts of mercy and kindness (which was not expected).¹
We are seeing this trend more and more at Stonecroft. Women desiring to reach out in relational and tangible ways to show and share the love of Jesus. These acts of mercy and kindness tangibly extend the healing Jesus brings and in so doing proclaim that the Kingdom of God is near. They spiritually prepare a heart for the sharing of the Gospel, for Jesus to come.
- Monthly, a small group of women from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Women’s Connection goes to the county women’s correctional facility to meet and eat with detainees, teach a practical life lesson, and share the Gospel. Stonecroft Bible Studies are then held weekly to continue building relationships and offer more opportunities for discipleship.
- In Texas and the East, women opened their homes for a new Stonecroft small group outreach called Where Love Lives. These small, home gatherings to invite friends, co-workers, and neighbors to learn about love, relationship, and God.
- This Sept. 29, small groups of women will walk their communities asking folks how they can pray for them as part of our Prays Walk outreach. Register here.
- Campfire Stories is being planned in Longview, Texas. Women are invited to come and talk about what’s happening in their lives and foster deeper relationships among hub volunteers and women who feel disconnected from relationships. Who doesn’t love a campfire?
- In Orange County, California, hub volunteers met together to have a conversation about how to talk naturally with women about Jesus and get outside their Christian bubble. They then decided to put items together to take to a local women’s shelter to begin to build conversations.
These simple outreaches pour out love and friendship to a world that can be lonely and hurtful. In some settings, the Gospel is specifically planned to be shared. In others, acts of kindness and mercy pave the way for the coming of the Good News of Jesus. In all, we go ready to share the Gospel when the opportunity arises.
¹ Guzik, D. “Study Guide for Luke 10 by David Guzik.” Blue Letter Bible. Last Modified 21 Feb, 2017. https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide2017-Luk/Luk-10.cfm?a=983001. Accessed 8/22/18.