Seinfeld character George Costanza greatly feared what he called, “Worlds collide.” What he meant by worlds collide is that one part of your life fortuitously meets another part of your life – work does not need to collide with family. These friends do not need to intermingle with those friends. Elaine needs to stay away from Susan! For Costanza worlds collide upsets the equilibrium of life he called the “worlds theory.” When worlds collide – “it blows up!”
But “worlds collide” is not always a Costanza sized meltdown. Sometimes worlds collide into an amazing experience.
I have a lot of worlds. I am a pastor, preacher, writer, teacher, and a chaplain for a high school football team. A few of those worlds collided for me last night as I took some of our players from the Christian Heritage School football team to serve at our Liberty Spring Place Campus.
Liberty Spring Place is a campus we planted 2 years ago in a local mobile home park that resembles many of the mission trips I have taken into 3rd world contexts. There are approximately 110 mobile home units that house a pocket of our population that is presented with the manifold challenges of poverty – drug abuse, domestic abuse, transportation issues, neglect, malnutriton, low education, and a dire lack of simple, workable, effective life skills. Liberty Spring Place began as a tent on a corner lot that turned into an invitation from the community for us to plant a permanent site there. The results have been incredible as Campus Pastor Mark Seay and our Spring Place team has made a major connection with the community and has partnered with other organizations to bring much needed services into the area. It really is a great story and a prime example of the difference the gospel makes when the gospel is proclaimed and applied.
Last night was our Christmas dinner at Liberty Spring Place. 10 of our football players joined me to attend the event and act as servers. They served plates of food, interacted with the kids, and at the end of the evening they walked several kids home. As they walked down the dusty streets each player carried enough groceries so that the children would have food to eat during their Christmas break as many of them rely on the public schools system to serve them breakfast and lunch. The sacks of groceries were provided by our local Community of Hope. The muscle was provided by CHS Lions football.
As I was taking one of our players home he said to me, “I like your church. You guys do a lot to rescue people.” That meant the world to me as a pastor to have a 16 year old Junior tailback say those words about the people God has called me to pastor. Little did he know that written on the walls of our building are the words, “Rescue People. Show Them What We Do. Send Them Out to Do What We do.” That is the mission of Liberty and he expressed it – not by reading the wall, but by reading our people!
Liberty does a lot to rescue people. We have an amazing Celebrate Recovery program that meets on two campuses. Once a month, soon twice a month in two locations, we partner with Hope for the Hungry to provide meals for those in need. At our most recent Hope for the Hungry the demand was so great that we had to turn the sanctuary into a waiting room for those needing a meal. While a lot of church’s are planting campuses in developing affluent communities, Liberty’s last two campuses were planted in the home of a declining/dying congregation and a trailer park. I love the heart of God’s people at Liberty.
So there was our stud tailback – 220, 4.6/40, full of muscle and hopes of earning a college scholarship next year hauling groceries, watching people in a church saying it as well as it could be stated, “That’s what Jesus told the church to do, help people.” That’s right #27!
I love my church. I love serving student athletes. I love it when worlds collide! Way to go Liberty crew! Thanks Lions! Let’s keep RESCUING PEOPLE in Jesus’ name!