I just don’t know if there is much that makes me smile more than when I see the 300+ Mukwonago Area school teachers, administrators and staff walk through the front doors of Brooklife. This is especially miraculous when you consider that they are NOT using our building for a training or seminar. They are coming to just be blessed, and it’s completely optional.
Why do they come? Because of our generosity. Yes, for some, it might not ever be more than free food, but for many, it will plant a seed in their hearts that this church actually cares about them. We ask nothing in return. We serve them; we feed them; we thank them; we bless them; we say a prayer over them and their food. And then, we cheer them on to their calling of helping our kids discover adulthood.
How does something like this happen? We’ve asked ourselves this question many times, and the answer is quite simple. We started praying, showing up, and displaying care and concern for our schools. But we did more. We stepped into the schools and started asking how we could help. At first, they didn’t believe us when we said we just wanted to be a blessing. They thought we had an agenda. We kept telling them that our agenda was to love and bless because we have been loved and blessed. Eventually, it started working. They’d ask for something, and we’d make it happen. And then they kept asking, and we kept making it happen. We earned their trust. Our extraordinary generosity was being accepted. And after it was accepted, it started making a lot fo people ask the oh so important question, “Why?” And we were so ready to answer that question. We are generous because Jesus has been so generous to us and because we get to be the hands and feet of Jesus by being generous. “We want you to experience the love of Jesus.”
Now, many, many, many people walk through the doors of Brooklife because they have found that we are a church that is not just about talking about loving people but a church that actually does love people with a selfless love. We give love because that is what we are called to do. We show genuine love and compassion in order to earn the right to share the loving truth that will transform their lives as it has already transformed ours. I’m reminded of Jesus words from Matthew 25:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
Here’s what we believe: outrageous hearts of generosity cultivate hearts of curiosity. People are looking for something real and true, something that stands out not because it is flashy but because it speaks to their souls. They might not know it yet, but their soul knows they are missing something. By following this incredible Guiding Principle of Generosity, we position ourselves to be the place where they go looking for the reason we are so overwhelmingly generous in our love, concern, and presence! Jesus showed up for us; how can we not show up for the ones He loves?