As some of my readers know, my family and some friends from the church have been helping out in a food pantry that is hosted by another church. The host church is quite different (ecclesiologically) than we are. But the people who are running the food pantry have invited us and welcomed us to help them serve the people in our community and the surrounding areas.
Now, alot of people work very hard to provide food people who come to this food pantry. My particular assignment is to spend time talking with as many of the 300+ families to come to get food. As we talk, they often ask me about myself or about the host church. They are usually surprised by my answers. Recently, I was thinking about this, and I began to wonder why they were surprised.
Why are they surprised when they find that I am not part of the host church?
Why are they surprised when they find that I am not paid to be there (not on staff)?
Why are they surprised that I work a normal job just like them?
Why are they surprised when I praise the people who are part of this host church?
Why are they surprised that several of our small church are working at the food pantry?
Now, it might be easy to answer the questions above in a way that blasts our current church structure and culture. But, let me ask you something…
Are we doing anything to alleviate those surprises? Are we seeking to work together with other believers (who may be part of radically different churches) to show people that we really are united? Do we expect our paid staff to do more than everyone else?
Are they surprised because we are part of the problem?