CSI is the abbreviation for Crime Scene Investigation, the most watched drama series in the world. But for our Spanish River Church family, CSI took on a whole new meaning last Saturday. On Saturday, more than 630 members and friends of Spanish River came together for our City Serve Initiative--a collective effort to intentionally seek the welfare of the City of Boca Raton. You can click here for a full gallery of pictures. It was a great day!
- It was a day to serve our community in Jesus' name.
- It was a day to lend a little help to more than 25 organizations who are themselves intent on bettering the lives of others.
- It was a day of rallying around people who are too often neglected in our town.
- It was a day of dirt, dust, grime, and paint.
- It was a day of making new friends, of handshakes and hugs.
Perhaps you are wondering, "Why have a CSI?" In short, because God has a heart for the city! If you want to know how big of a heart, you only need to look at Jeremiah's prophecy. When the nation of Israel was living in exile in Babylon, God told them to give their best to seek the welfare of that city:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:4-7 ESV
I am grateful for what the Lord taught me through our City Serve Initiative:
- God opened my eyes to great community servants. The team with whom I served (click here for their picture), came alongside Wayne Barton and the Wayne Barton Study Center. Wayne loves God, loves people, and is living and sharing the gospel of Jesus through his practical acts of service. I'm in awe of the way Wayne has acted on the vision God gave him. At the same time, I am so appreciative of the amazing organizations in our community who have come to the aid of others.
- God grew my heart for our city. I needed last Saturday. It is far too easy for me to utilize the benefits of our city and neglect to serve it.
- God increased my love for our church family. Sitting down to breakfast with 600 people will do that. Working shoulder to shoulder with others will do that. Watching people give up their Saturday to serve others will do that. I am so proud of our church. Spanish River is truly a family of faith!
- God reminded me it is definitely more blessed to give than to receive. At the end of the day many of us were dirty and tired, but oh so satisfied!
This event took a ton of coordination, many people working behind the scenes, and hundreds showing up to serve on Saturday. THANKS to all of you and a special "job well done" to Steve Ristuccia, our pastoral intern who ran point on CSI.
Special days like CSI are great. It is a powerful thing when hundreds of people clad in blue CSI T-Shirts disperse throughout our community, working in concert like an ant colony to serve others. It is exciting, encouraging, and motivating. We'll do it again! But it doesn't take a special day to serve our city. CSI was never meant to be "the event," but rather a catalyst for our continued efforts to live out our daily marching orders from Jesus: love God, Love people and make disciples of Jesus everywhere we go!
How can you serve your city in Jesus' name today?