Partnership Propels Vital Kentucky Ministry to Seniors
By Carl Stagner
Churches rarely have to reinvent the wheel. Recipients of goods and services—those on the receiving end of tangible demonstrations of God’s love through his people—don’t ultimately care about the nuts and bolts of any given ministry. They do, however, deeply appreciate the gesture of goodwill. They express gratitude for the handouts and hand-ups. They notice the smile on the faces of ambassadors of Jesus, and sometimes inquire about its origin. Danville First Church of God in Kentucky gets this reality. In fact, they were able to seize an opportunity five years ago that, though not sought, proved providential in the establishment of a recurring means to serve seniors in their community.
In October 2018, the director of a local expression of a federal program offering supplemental food to seniors approached Danville First Church of God with an idea. Observing the optimal location and facilities, she proposed a relocation of the Boyle County Senior Commodities Distribution as a mutual benefit to the community in need and the church.
“When our leadership considered the idea,” Pastor Mike Cox recalls, “we felt like there would be opportunities for ministry, as well as meeting the need for food. We have been able to build relationships with many of these folks. COVID really made it challenging, but we’ve continued to find ways to show we care.”
Seniors seeking assistance must meet certain age and income qualifications, but those who do certainly receive the help that they need—and the increasingly familiar faces behind the service include volunteers from the church. Along the way, numerous agencies of various kinds have come alongside the church to get the job done, including, but not limited to, the National Guard, the local Civil Air Patrol, and ministries like Isaiah House. Other churches have partnered with Danville First Church of God, too.
“Many of our clients share needs and prayer requests with us and allow us to share some of those on our churchwide prayer list,” Pastor Mike details. “We’ve had a few folks come to our church services and some have become a part of our church family. Our director, Judy Devine, is such a caring, loving person, and many of our clients feel free to share their needs with her.”
The motivation for Danville First Church of God remains, and will always be, ministry. Modeling Christ in their community matters greatly to the congregation, and they’ve found a consistent way to do that through partnership. Sure, partnership is hard work and can involve risk. Sure, the volunteer hours required can’t be overlooked. But the payoff is powerful and eternal.
“Our prayer is that they will see Jesus in us as we serve them monthly or as we talk with them on the phone during the month,” Pastor Mike concludes. “Our prayer for those who serve from our church is that we will all be the hands and feet of Jesus and that we will lift him up through our efforts in this outreach opportunity.”
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.