Shopping the Aisles of an Indiana Church
By Bryan Hughes
When the congregation of Pendleton Community Church of God arrived for worship, they had no idea that church would actually happen in the grocery store across the street.
“We work really hard to keep church simple,” Trey Oldham, senior pastor stated. “This particular Sunday we took a glimpse of the early church from Acts 2 where those in the church sell their property and possessions to take care of others in need.”
This Indiana church responded to Scripture by taking immediate action. After a short message and challenge from their pastor, the people who had gathered for worship went to buy food and products that those in their community might need.
When the congregation returned to the church, the items they purchased covered five tables. Some wrote cards of encouragement for every family that God would bless with these gifts. They then celebrated together honoring God with praising and singing.
At the close of service, an invitation was extended. If anyone in the church had a need, they should stay and “shop the aisles.”
“Last year when we invited people to shop, a family in need stayed,” Pastor Trey shared. “This year, the wife from that family came in holding four bags of groceries and said, ‘I got to spend fifty dollars this year!’ That’s the success story of being able to care for people—when they are able to be a part of the next generation of caring for someone else.”
All remaining items were taken to the local food pantry. It was the largest single donation received during the year thus far by the food pantry.
Pastor Trey explains why the church took this bold approach to addressing the needs in their community. “When people are challenged and they see the goal, they spread the gospel far beyond what words could ever say. They live out the love of Christ.”
In the coming year, Pendleton Community Church of God has plans to accomplish many things that make a bold statement for Christ. Pastor Trey explains why he and those who attend the church are excited about the future.
“This is only a taste of what we hope to do,” he says. “We intend to cancel our service at least twice every year so we’re not here having service—we’re out there doing service.”
Watch the video that accompanies this story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgzGXv7l92c. For more inspiration to be bold in your faith, attend the Church of God Convention 2014, June 23–26, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. For details about the convention and General Assembly, and to register, visit www.chogconvention.org/default.