I'm Getting SLIMED!
Over the summer we have been collecting insect repellent to be handed out to the homeless men, women, and children in our community through our community partner Streetlight Ministries. We set a goal for 486 units of insect repellent and we have said that if we meet our goal by August 26th, the church would get to slime me, your pastor. With one week to go it looks like we will not reach our goal. I wanted to offer some thoughts on why this is ok and why you will still get to slime me this Sunday.
First, some thoughts on goals. Goals are good. Goals are important. Setting goals helps us go further than we think we could, it helps us work harder than we think we can, and it helps us achieve something great over time. Over the past year we have set many goals in the areas of service and mission and each one surpassed every time.
Last summer we challenged you all to donate 600 cans of food and you beat that goal. We challenged you to provide for 50 homeless hygiene kits and you beat that goal. We challenged you to collect 2,018 socks and you demolished that goal.
At a certain point I was convinced there wasn’t a goal I could set that the people of Spirit & Life wouldn’t meet.
When I set our goal for this summer’s insect repellent collection I wanted a goal that would stretch us. I wanted a goal that would push us. That’s what goals are for! But I also picked a goal that had some meaning behind the numbers. A goal of 486 units of insect repellent allowed me each week to name two facts about homelessness in our county: 1) there are 374 homeless people in Prince William County and 2) 112 of whom are children. These are important things to know because God loves each of those 374 men, women, and children enough that He died for them and we, as Christians, are called to care for each of those 374 men, women, and children and love them as we love ourselves. Each week I wanted us to think about those numbers and what they represent.
What I didn’t factor in as much as I should have was the financial cost that comes with 486 units of insect repellent. Which brings me to my original point: why not reaching our goal isn’t a bad thing and why you’re still going to slime me this Sunday.
Friends, we have done amazing work. To date we have collected over 230 units of insect repellent which, at $5 per unit, represents well over $1,000 in insect repellent collected and donated by the people of Spirit & Life. That does and will make an impact in the lives of the homeless men, women, and children in our community.
As your pastor, I am once again proud of how the people of this church have responded to be a living sign of God’s presence in our community. I am proud of the way your generosity led to our collecting over 200 units of insect repellent. I am proud that you care about people in our community that so many never choose to notice.
I want us to celebrate what we have done this summer. I want us to celebrate what we have done this past year. I want us to celebrate the missional and generous spirit that exists in this church. So slime away!