Archive for the ‘Community Outreach’ Category


Walk Inside

September 4, 2009

Earlier this week I went out for lunch fully intending to go through the Drive-thru and get back to the office. Upon seeing the line of cars I changed my mind and went inside. I actually do this quite a bit. Going out to lunch and moving from sitting at my desk to sitting in the car is not exactly rejuvenating, so I will get out of the car for a walk. I was reminded of a little lesson I thought I’d share.

I was inside for approximately 8 minutes. In that time I was approached about an opportunity for our church to reach out to a group of folks in an area we don’t have great exposure, was invited by a local high school to partner with them on a couple of items, thanked for helping out on the Community Makeover, and given the chance to invite someone to West Ridge who doesn’t attend church anywhere. One morning this week I didn’t ‘Pay at the pump’ for the gas in my car. As I continue to build relationships with the local gas station employees I was given another opportunity to talk church and life with someone who is clearly not a follower of Jesus.

Ok, I don’t do this all the time, but I will continue to try to do it more than not. If I always stay in my car then these conversations never happen. Outreach or Sharing Christ is not a program, it’s a lifestyle that stretches us as disciples of Jesus.

Everyone Belongs,



An Update from Warehouse of Hope

September 2, 2009

This is my update for Warehouse of Hope. I am so amazed how the economy affects everyone. It is personally affecting my family unlike we could ever imagine. But we are blessed because it isn’t affecting us in the extent that I can’t keep diapers on my daughter or food on our table. It is affecting us that we live paycheck to paycheck but we have our bills paid. People don’t realize that living paycheck to paycheck is a blessing. Atleast you still have a paycheck. Do you realize that people come into this warehouse that their kids come in to get school clothes and they look like they haven’t had a new pair of shoes since they have been a live. They bring in babies that they can’t even afford to put diapers on. These aren’t people that don’t work and don’t try these are people like me and you who have lost their jobs due to the economy and are struggling to keep their homes. They have very little money for food and clothes so they come here for us to seek help.

Ask yourself, do you really know what it’s like to be hungry? These people do. They don’t just think “it’s lunch time let me go to the kitchen to get something to eat.” They don’t think that because they have been in their kitchen 5 times and they know there is nothing there. These people are glad school started back because atleast they know their child will get one nutricious meal a day.
True hunger goes far beyond skipping breakfast, but from skipping meals for a day or two. True hunger is more than a rumble in your stomach; it is a place of quiet desperation. Most of you may have been there at one point in your life but most of you have no idea what that is like long term.

Warehouse of Hope is being hit by the economy tremendously. The deposit here to pay to get the food here, our lights on, and our bills paid are lower than they have been in 2 years. Not because we are helping less people but because people that come in here now are lucky if they have the gas money to get here much less the money to give a donation.

We need your help. We are asking you to search your heart and determine if you and your family can give $12 for 12 months.  That is a really small investment in a really big cause. You are more than welcome to donate  more but I’m starting out small only because I know that everyone is having to make sacrifices in this economy.  If we had 100% participation and signed up 1200 donor families, it still only covers approximately 50% of the projected ministry expenses.

As a friend of mine once said “It’s not our money God blesses us with it so use it to bless others and God will bless you even more.”

Just keep in mind when you are sitting down to eat dinner with your family that you are blessed more than most because you have not only a family but a meal to sit down and share with them. Thanks for taking your time to read this. I really hope you will spread the word so we can continue to bless others. If you need any further information please email me. Or you can mail your donations to:

Warehouse of Hope
100 Hunter Rd.
Douglasville, Ga 30134

You can use your donation as a tax deduction also. Keep in mind we also accept any clothes, canned goods, small household items, books, furniture, and kid’s toys. If you don’t feel like this is something you want to do, please consider emailing it to everyone on your email list who might be interested.


Get a job

March 4, 2009

I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop getting things done over a month ago with the news caught my attention. Five or six companies announced layoffs that meant 50, 60, 70 thousand people were losing their jobs. 

When I sit and read the news I try to ask the question, what’s a Christ-follower to do? What should be the response of the church? It seems like all of us know someone without a job right now. 

It is a very helpless feeling when someone comes to you and says they are out of work. Even more helpless when they are losing their house or cannot feed their family because they have no income. Sometimes it even feels helpless to just say, “I’m praying for you.” Prayer is the most powerful weapon in a Christ followers toolbox, but as one author says, We have to pray as Christians, not Theist.
In a book that has really shaped me called, The Holy Longing, Ronald Rolheiser unpacks this thought. He says that the prayers of a Christ follower have to be ‘incarnational’.

Rolheiser writes, “If I see colleague or friend who looks depressed and pray for her, but do not speak to her, then I am praying like a theist, not as a Christian. If I pray for a friend today but do not send him a postcard to tell him I am thinking about him, how is that prayer supposed to touch him? If I pray for world peace, but do not, inside myself, forgive those who have hurt me, how can God bring about peace on this planet?

Our prayer needs our flesh to back it up.”

So I talked to a friend about the job thing. His name is Craig. He’s a go-getter, a kill it and drag it home kind of guy, and I asked what if our church could just do something simple to help connect people to available jobs. Well, Craig is all over it. He started calling employers, and people looking for work to discover the ins and outs of this.

We found something. A lot of people without jobs right now are depressed and not even trying. If you lose your job, don’t go home and watch the news. I personally know people, who have thrown up their hands and are just going to wait for things to turn around before they get back to work. It’s such a tough place to be.  People are nervous, scared, afraid, and without hope. Many don’t know Jesus personally. I think I lessen my chances of them coming to know Him if I just say, I’m praying for you. Not a bad thing, but it needs flesh.

So we’ve started with something simple. We posted a page at that can act as a simple hub to help you brainstorm where to go to find your next opportunity. Craig also started a facebook group ( As opportunities come in we post them. In the last three weeks a small number of folks have found jobs through these resources and others have found solid leads. We’re posting events at other churches and resources from our Chamber of Commerce and Local Department of Labor Office, and a few others. We’re willing to post more as information comes to us. It’s our way of putting a little flesh to our prayers.

At the bottom of the page on the West Ridge website you can e-mail me and let me know if you are looking. I have a list of folks I have prayed for, and will continue to.

Everyone Belongs, 



Update is coming!

December 22, 2008

We are working to get pictures and video up so that everyone can see what it looked like in this building last night. I’ll put a summary of thoughts up in the next day or so as well.

We served 1200+ families and had 4,000+ ( VERY conservatively) come for Christmas assistance. Thanks to everyone who contributed financially and volunteered.

God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Everyone Belongs, 



This is Christmas!

December 20, 2008

So here it is, the day before a big day. 4 months ago the idea of a couple people to throw a Christmas party to families in need has turned into a God-given opportunity to touch 1500 families with the “kindness of God  that leads to repentance” (Rom. 2). The ‘party’ happens tomorrow.

A couple things: This would not be possible if we made this all about us. After years of investment in the same community (by our church) the power of partnership is ‘expanding our territory’ more than anything else. We have partnered with multiple community groups and key non-profits to be able to reach out. Because of the generosity of our church, our community ,and the 4 other churches who have partnered with West Ridge Church (Pumpkinvine Baptist, Hope Methodist, Church at the Ridge, Cedarcrest Church) we will have enough food and gifts for every family.

Even if a family does not come to the party, food boxes are being delivered Monday. 1500 families will get some kind of Christmas assistance.

So one last challenge: For whomever reads this today and tomorrow, please pray for what is going to happen on this campus. We are praying with great expectations. God has shown us this was His idea. And He has stepped in to make sure it happens the right way.

Along with prayer here is some encouragement. My wife and I have cut back on Christmas this year. There are lots of reasons for it, and none of them have to do with personal hardship. It is very simple. We are extraordinarily blessed.  Over the years we have become more aware of the needs in our own community, and with my travels to Burkina Faso, the lens with which we see the world has changed. I’m not trying to be pious. My boys are getting some good gifts! We are just not going overboard. The main reason for cutting back was to be sure we engaged with A Fresh Hope and CAYA and the West Ridge Gift Offering, even if in just a small way, without letting the season pass us by.

Don’t let the season pass you by. We can still use canned goods and gifts tomorrow. And if you go to West Ridge (or another church that is doing something similar), the easiest thing you can do to engage this community and the world at Christmas is to give a larger gift to Christ than any other single gift you are giving this year. Participate in the Gift Offering this year as a way of thanking God for all the good gifts He sends our way.

I’ll post an update on this event tomorrow night or Monday.

Everyone Belongs,