June 1980 was a turning point in my life when I made Jesus Lord and Savior. Shortly thereafter the Holy Spirit led my wife and me out of our denominational church to a charismatic Word of Faith church.
For thirty years the only Christians I knew swam in the same doctrinal stream of ministry. Thus my view of the Body of Christ was very myopic. I only preached at specific churches and went to seminars with those who were ‘like minded’. I felt like I had a ‘leg up’ on other believers simply because of the church I attended.
In the fall of 2008 our church became an Angel Food distribution site. Angel Food is a nonprofit, nondenominational food program dedicated to providing monthly food assistance to 500,000 families in 35 states across America. Every month, Angel Food provides boxes of high quality, cost-effective food items at over half-off grocery store prices.
Last fall I began to work with as a Minister of Outreach for Angel Food charged with helping Minnesota churches and ministries in reach out to their communities. The last eighteen months has been a learning experience for me.
Angel Food has taught me that hunger relief is not a doctrinal issue.
When the goal is to reach hurting people it doesn’t matter which seminary you attend or which version of the bible you prefer. What really matters is the God’s love. The heart of love that people like Dan and Marilyn from the Presbyterian Church, my Lutheran friend Berniece and Father Jose, a precious Catholic priest, have shown me has been very humbling. I so admire the energy and drive that these brothers and sisters have to become a force of good in their community.
Angel Food has taught me that we need each other
What an awakening this has been. There are so many awesome Christians that I never would have known. My limited exposure to other churches and the narrow parochial view of God’s people has been totally transformed. No longer do I think in terms of ‘we’ and ‘they’ when dealing with these other churches.
Angel Food has shown me that we are not in competition but rather we are in communion with one another when we allow ourselves to become the message of God’s love to a hurting world.