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In his Alpha Talk “What About the Church,” Nicky Gumbel tells this story about John Wimber, the founding pastor of the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship and the Worldwide Vineyard Movement: “John Wimber was once approached by a member of his congregation who had met somebody in great need. After the Sunday service this man told John Wimber of his frustration in trying to get help.

“‘This man needed a place to stay, food, and support while he gets on his feet and looks for a job,’ he said. ‘I am really frustrated. I tried telephoning the church office, but no one could see me and they couldn’t help me. I finally ended up having to let him stay with me for the week! Don’t you think the church should take care of people like this?’

“John Wimber thought for a moment and then said, ‘It looks like the church did.’” [SOURCE: Nicky Gumbel, “What About the Church,” in QUESTIONS OF LIFE: A PRACTICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH (Colorado Springs: Cook Ministry Resources, a division of Cook Communications Ministries, 1996), 226.]

My sisters and brothers in Christ, this is kind of work Jesus calls each one of us to do for His kingdom. He is counting on you and me to “take care of people like this,” the 82.5% of Americans who are not in Church today most of whom claim they believe in God yet see us “being more about organized religion than we are about loving God and loving people.” Jesus calls us to “make a difference in their lives” that will count for eternity.

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