Being the Acts 2 Church In The 21st Century
If you happen to be on the Real Life Ministries Post Falls campus, and you make your way down to the end of building 3, you might find something unexpected.
Something that does not exactly scream ‘Church’. It is the Real Life Thrift Store.
You may wonder, “why would a church have a thrift store?“ How does that fit in with the ministry and mission of Jesus’ s Church? Well, the truth is The RLM Thrift Store has become a very effective way to do Ministry.
The Thrift Store accepts donations during open hours. I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled up there and dropped off things I didn’t need or use anymore. Unfortunately, America is known for having an excess of possessions. We don’t tend to use things up before we are ready to replace them. This makes for a steady stream of donations coming in to the store. And here is where the first phase of ministry begins. There are many volunteers needed to go through all of the donations and get them ready to be placed on a rack or a shelf to be sold in the store. There is always work to be done!
And there is always someone who is just waiting to be asked to help. Using volunteers in ministry has a very high value at Real Life Ministries. We are always looking for a place to plug people in and get them involved. Volunteering with a ministry is a great way for people to get connected and grow in relationships, and what a blessing to see the Body of Christ working together!
The Thrift Store also provides a service to our community- It is a great place to shop and find deals! The prices and selection are always good, and with the economy today many people are looking for thrifty ways to meet their needs. The store has everything from clothes to home decor, books, furniture and appliances. And there is always something on sale. In fact, just about every-time I drop something off, I bring something else home…..My husband just doesn’t understand that...
Ministry also happens in the store as people are shopping. Those who serve and work at the thrift store have such a heart for Jesus. They go out of their way to be kind, patient and loving with the shoppers that come in. It makes people leave with a good feeling, and hopefully they will remember that if they should ever decide they want to come to a church.
The people serving in this Thrift Store are being the hands and feet of Christ in this community. But ministering to the community doesn’t stop at the Thrift Store door -
We have a Benevolence Ministry at RLM Post Falls that is open daily to the community. People can come here to get assistance in many things. We have a food bank, daily lunch service, a job club, cooking and nutritional training and budgeting classes just to name a few. (Much of it is staffed by volunteers) All of this is available at no charge to anyone in need - they do not have to be a member or even an attender of Real Life Ministries. A portion of the Benevolence is supported by proceeds from the RLM Thrift store.
Imagine that.. a church being the church in the community- and the community taking note of it……
“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. ” -Acts 2:45-47