The Main Street Church of Christ in Milan, TN recently had a really special event for the people of their community. We were encouraged, inspired and just had to share it with you. Love seeing what God can do with people who just want to reflect Him . . .
-Tell us about how the give-away event came to be.
We had gone to the giving stuff away class during GO! CAMP, (taught by Joseph Thomas from Savannah, TN) and during one of the nightly small groups, our group decided we wanted to try "to give some stuff away." When we got back I discussed the idea with the elders and the outreach minister, Taft Ayers. We worked some dates out and spread the word. Within a couple of months we had gone from an idea to a building full of "stuff to give away" and people.
-How did the youth group at Milan get involved?
The youth group was not only the spark behind "Give Away Day," they also helped work the event. It became of a congregational event due to its size but if weren't for a couple of teens willing to go to GO! CAMP the event would have never happened.
-What was it like the day of the event?
A couple months before the event we started sending out letters about we needed. And the Thursday before we set up drop-off times. That gave us 3 days to fill a gym up of GOOD STUFF. Our motto that weekend was "NO JUNK FOR JESUS!" In those 3 days with the help of the congregation, the community and prayer we completely filled the entire gym and by the end on Sunday we had little left and nearly 400 people had been through.
- What do you think doing an event like this reflects to the community about the church? What does it say about God and his people?
We have to let the community know that we care. A lot of these people grew up believing in God but through different circumstances have fallen away. One the saddest parts about this is that many of these times its Christians who have pushed other Christians away. We have to remind them 1 That God loves them & 2 That God's people love them! The community seeing random acts of kindness for no other reason than we love Jesus makes an IMPACT on people! This was a great encouragement to them, to us and most importantly to God!
-What advice would you give to any young people wanting to make this happen with their church family? What not to do ?
DO IT! It won't be easy. But most things that are worth it aren't. Young people have to quit not voicing their ideas and letting them die. If you are going to make a difference, if you are going to change the world then you have to start implementing great ideas!
-Are there any specific stories from the day that stand out to you?
pt1 One my favorite part of the day was at 5PM we stopped for worship anybody in still in line or that decided to stay was invited to worship with us. We had over a 100 families stay! We completely filled our Christian Activity Center. The worship service was designed around family! I know every time we get to worship God but as looked around this one was something spectacular! pt2 one of the ladies who we helped attended church with us Wednesday night. At the invitation she came up in her wheel chair and was baptized into Christ. I don't do these events for numbers or in hope of responses or for the sole purpose of baptizing. I do them because I'm told to love people more than I love myself. The rest is up to them and God. It's an incredible thing to see when someone falling in love with God for the first time!