Sharon Richards: CEO of the RichardsFam
Doable acts of ministry are unlimited when one begins to think and live with God’s Story. In the community of faith with whom I participate, there are many stories of folks who have been pointed toward living in God’s story and find callings in their life. One such person is Sharon Richards. Stuck on an off ramp of one of Seattle’s hostile freeways, Sharon began noticing a number of men on the exits holding signs that requested help. I’m sure most of us have had such experiences. Her response was to live within the Story of God and his love for the brokenness of the world of which these men were signs and symbols. So, she drove to Costco and purchased some small bags and food and put together food bags that she would hand out to these men as she would see them on the off ramps. Next, she put a small kiosk in the foyer of the church with these small food bags for others in the community to pick up and hand out. This ministry is solely sponsored by the people who drop in money at the kiosk to replenish the bags of food. How does this happen? The pastors, Rich and Rose Swetman, generously provide an outward looking atmosphere for their congregants who are encouraged to hear God and be sent by him to minister to their neighbors. To put it simply, Sharon lives in a different Story than lots of folks in churches do. She has caught the idea that living in God’s story simply means looking for opportunity to minister to the folks God loves. Afterword 2013: Ministries come and go. This ministry is no longer active at Vineyard Community Church, which suggests that when God speaks to meet a need through a specific person, there may be a time period in which that ministry exists but that termination of it does not mean it was a failure. So may the the case from this story. It occurs to me that some folks don't begin because they think that what they put their hands to is a life-long proposition by God. Such may not be the result of beginning a ministry. Like real life, some ministries live, flourish, and then die. But, God has been glorified in the creation and participation of the ministry.