One of the things I have found to love about the churches in this community is their willingness to work together. Sometimes schedules and other events prevent us from working together as much as we would like. But there is one particular organization among the churches that really does a great job of providing help through combined forces. The Newton Ministerial Alliance has a long-standing relationship with the Salvation Army and has partnered with them to bring support to those in our community who may need financial help. It reminds me of the saying, "We are better together." Many of the churches in the community are faithful givers to the Salvation Army.

I have been writing on why attendance in the church is an important part of our life today. I told you about the Salvation Army to simply say this: The early church shared their possessions (time and finances) with each other and saw to it that not a single person went without a need. It says in Acts 2:45: “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had a need.” We are not to live a peasant’s life so others can live a life of abundance. God does not condone that type of living anywhere in Scripture. But we are challenged to give away, to help the needy, to meet the needs of others when we find ourselves in abundance.

When we are involved in a local church, we get to be the hands and feet of Jesus, not solo, but as a combined force to meet the needs of our community. Throughout this whole first part of Acts it continually gives a portrait of people who always lived their lives in the presence of others and with others. The early church was never designed to be a solo entity struggling to make it and have an impact. And neither was the individual! When we are together as a church, as a body, we can pool resources and meet the needs of others. When we are together, we can receive help should the need arise in our own life.

I wonder how many people's needs (widows, single parents, struggling families) go unmet in fear of making a need known? Sometimes we do not want others to know we have a need. When in reality, most of the people around us probably know we already have a need! Who can you reach out to today, this weekend, and check on? Who in your life can you think of that might have a need that you or your church can help meet? If you have a need and you are unsure of where to turn, reach out to a local church in your neighborhood, a neighbor or the Salvation Army and see how your needs can be met. Also, if you do not attend church anywhere there are some wonderful churches around our community. Find one in your neighborhood, ask a friend who attends or simply drop into one this Sunday. Get connected! You will be glad you did!

— Clint McBroom is pastor at the First Church of God of Newton.