I have been blessed this past month to meet Jeanine Guidry who is the founder and Executive Director of a non-profit band here in Richmond appropriately named Offering. Their tag line is “Making Music Make a Difference.” Offering achieves this vision by giving their musical talents away in support of local non-profits.
I spent time with Jeanine this week and watched her with great interest as she offered herself to Embrace, Homeward, and the East End community. I have never met such a giving person in my life. I kept trying to figure out what her angle was. What was she going to get out of any of this? I could not answer this question until I read a devotional from Marketplace Leaders written by OS Hillman titled “The Spirit of Competition” which came out today in the TGIF email. Hillman writes
“A story is told about F.B. Meyer, the great Bible teacher and pastor who lived a century ago. He was pastoring a church and began to notice that attendance was suffering. This continued until he finally asked some members of his congregation one Sunday morning why they thought attendance was down.
A member volunteered, “It is because of this new church down the road. The young preacher has everyone talking and many are going to hear him speak.”
His name was Charles Spurgeon. Meyer, rather than seeking to discourage this, exhorted the entire congregation to join him and go participate in seeing this “move of God” as he described it to his congregation.
“If this be happening, then God must be at work.”
Meyer, even though he was an accomplished preacher and teacher, recognized where God was at work and joined Him in it. [The author heard this on a radio show from Key Life Ministries with Steve Brown, based in Orlando, Florida.]
Can you imagine this story taking place in our competitive world today? Sometimes we must remind our fellow servants that we are all on the same team! We should be seeking to impact the Kingdom of God, not increase our own market share.
Jeanine moves through the world with the same spirit a F.B. Meyer. She actively looks for God at work and seeks to join in without any concern for who gets the credit or whose name is on it. What does she get in return? The opportunity to build the Kingdom of God here on earth.
I want to be more like Jeanine. I want to invest the gifts, talents, resources and people that God has given Embrace in such a way as to expand the work of other non-profits and congregations who are moving with God throughout this city. Not because it will benefit Embrace is some way but because it will more effectively and efficiently expand the Kingdom here on earth.
Jeanine and I are working on an project that we hope will bring non-profits, churches, governmental agencies and residents of the Church Hill Community together. We are hoping that this one day community building experience will develop into expanded collaboration in the Church Hill area. I will keep you posted as the project unfolds. With Jeanine in the mix I can assure you it will be a blast!
If you are a part of the Church Hill Community or a part of a non-profit that works in the East End and would like to get involved in the planning phase of the project, please post your information here and I will contact you.