VOORHEES, N.J. (BRN) — You name the topic, God’s word has something to say about it. Believe or not, this includes the topic of lip service about one’s faith.
James 2:14-17 talks about this very subject. He poses a series of questions and ends with a conclusion.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (NLT)
Cultivate Church in Voorhees, New Jersey, has been putting its faith into action by reaching their community through food ministry for the past 10 years.
“The church wanted to impact the community that we were in so almost immediately after forming the Cultivate Church, we opened the food pantry. And months later we started a community garden,” said pantry director Marie Carey.
The pantry, which serves the community of Camden County, is staffed by volunteers. About 50% of them are also clients who happen to have a heart to serve. Although many of them are not born again, they are a part of the Cultivate family.
“We have shared meals together, helped each other outside of the pantry, visited some in the hospital, spend time socializing together and just truly enjoy one another. And even though they aren’t all saved, they all participate in our prayer time before each pantry,” said Claire, “How can that not impact our relationships with the clients that just come to us for food?”
The pantry, open on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, serves about 125 families per week.
Cultivate’s food ministry is the embodiment of James’ exhortation not to merely talk about one’s faith, but to put that faith into action by addressing needs.
This leads to the love of Christ is being demonstrated and relationships being built.
“As Christians we shouldn’t stand by and do nothing for those that are hungry when we can help,” said Claire who has been there since Day 1–learning the names of the families. “Because of that, I can actually talk to people on a personal level. A few have actually shown up to the church’s outdoor services.”
This is the kind of faith that God requires—a living, active faith that provides an introduction to Christ by meeting needs.
There are 14 million people in Pennsylvania/South Jersey who do not have a personal relationship with Christ. How are you putting your faith into action to reach them?