How Loving Your Neighbor Will Grow Your Faith – Amy Lively

Guest Post by Jennifer Hayes Yates

My pastor called and said he was meeting with several other pastors and lay leaders in the area, and he wanted me to join them. It was early 2020, and my news feed was filled with social unrest, Coronavirus updates, and racial tensions. We were gathering for prayer and discussion, asking God to show us how to respond to what was happening in our world.

I walked through the doors of the church and saw many people gathered around tables and in chairs around the room—men and women, black and white, pastoral and lay people. As the discussion and prayer began, the tension and anxiety of the past few weeks dissolved, and in their place a spirit of love, unity, and boldness began to take hold.

Prior to that meeting, I had honestly been wavering between fear and faith, worry and hope. But after we joined our hearts in honest conversation and our hands in earnest supplication, God began to move in a mighty way.

That prayer meeting morphed into a weekly gathering of many churches across the county, and God saw our desire to be the Church in the midst of the chaos that rocked 2020. As we asked God how we could make a difference in our community, He began opening doors for food distribution on a level I had never before witnessed. Throughout 2020 and half of 2021, this group of churches gave out over 3 million dollars’ worth of food to people who were suffering the effects of job loss, sickness, and fear.

As cars lined up, sometimes as far as we could see, these precious people waited in sun and heat, rain and cold, not only for food, but for the prayers we prayed with them. Over the time we have spent serving our community, bodies have been healed, hearts touched, and souls saved.

Out of this gathering has evolved a group of pastors and churches who have united in hearts and minds to serve our community. Racial and denominational barriers have been removed. God has brought forth a spirit of unity, love, and service that has grown our faith and turned our hearts toward others.

God birthed a true revival—not special services and music and dinner on the grounds. The Lord renewed our passion for Him and our faith in what He can do.

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