In 1998 my wife, Teri, and I were living in Minneapolis. I was working as an electrical engineer in high-voltage substation design and Teri was a full-time mom. On Wednesday nights, Teri led a women's Bible study and I led a men's.
My group of men were very diverse; in age, career fields, educational and spiritual backgrounds. I had never led a group of men or such a diverse group of people before. I was really nervous and unsure how to connect with each person. God gave me the idea that I needed to rally these men around a cause. Ok, what cause would that be? I thought about that for weeks. And then, it came to me. I wanted to help men be active in showing the love and heart of Jesus Christ. I wanted to help men be actively representing Christ in their homes, neighborhoods and churches. I wanted to challenge men to be the dad that enthusiastically brings the family to church, not drops them off or drags behind, grumbling along the way. I wanted to help men be the dads and grandfathers that show up at our children's schools when there is a call for volunteers.
The first-night of the group I excitedly shared with the men that the name of our group was M.I.A. for "Men in Action." There are too many men who are missing in action, spending all of their time and energy at their jobs and hobbies, leaving mom to carry the load at home, church and school. We were going to be men who led through serving others; serving our wives, our kids, our siblings, our parents, our church and our community. Every month, during our normal time for our Bible study, we were going to leave the building and do something to let people in our community know they matter. We weren't going to be takers. We were going to be givers. As we studied the Bible we would learn that Jesus has given us everything, so we were going to pass our blessings on to others.
The men responded and we had an absolute blast! We went to a grocery store and bagged groceries. The manager of the grocery store started running a surprise sale on the nights we came to bag groceries and his store would get so busy. We turned a self-service gas station into full-service as we checked tire pressure, added air and topped off the washer fluid. We went to a retirement high-rise and handed out roses and hugs to residents.
Twenty years later I am still rallying people around this cause. I now call it "servilization." When we moved to Fargo-Moorhead to start Prairie Heights, we made a commitment to God and each other that Prairie Heights would always be a church in action. We wouldn't play it safe or preserve the past no matter how difficult, expensive or dangerous the battle may get. I continue to believe that our world needs people who will stay engaged with those around us, actively sharing Christ's love in action and bringing hope. Who can you serve and encourage today?
God bless you. See you next Sunday!
Hauser is founding and senior pastor, Prairie Heights of Fargo Moorhead. Email firstname.lastname@example.org