From Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21 (NLT)…
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
When Jesus prayed this, He wasn’t being metaphorical or offering some abstract concept that sounded beautiful and sentimental, but didn’t really mean anything practical. No, no, Jesus meant that we would truly take care of each other. The Apostles got the message and throughout the New Testament, we find teachings and stories about early Christians taking care of each other. In fact, they did it so well, the Roman authorities and aristocracy wrote about how peculiar they were and how they took care of each other… and not just each other… but they took care of others they didn’t know.
This year, Pathmakers Church is taking 10% of our giving each month to give to an organization doing some special work or an individual/family that has a special need (yep, this is in addition to the 20%+ we take off the top to fund missions and meet local needs). We realize this is pretty peculiar for any person or church to do, and that’s sad. It shouldn’t be rare. This is what Christians did from the very beginning. But rather than simply complain and lament the compromises or materialism of today’s Christianity, we decided we want to lead the charge back to that kind of sacrificial generosity Jesus and the Apostles challenged us to make happen. We hope you’ll be generous and sacrificial, too, each month. Together, we can do some great good.
This month, we are helping to raise funds for Natalie Shafer, a good friend of some Pathmakers regulars. As anyone who has faced cancer can tell you, Natalie and her family are up against a challenging enemy. The Shafers do not attend Pathmakers, and that’s all the more reason to help them out. So, 10% of your giving to Pathmakers is going to help the Shafers face Natalie’s cancer diagnosis head-on and with confidence and support. It’s one more way Pathmakers is trying to be that peculiar kind of Christianity that existed at the very beginning. You could even say that it’s one more way we’re trying to live up to our motto of “It’s Church, but Different.”
And if you’d like to help out even more, you can donate directly to Natalie’s GOFUNDME fundraiser (http://www.gofundme.com/natalieshafer). As a special bonus, for every $20 you donate, you’ll be entered in a contest to win two Southwest Airlines tickets donated by a good friend of Natalie’s (details on the fundraiser site).