October 1st, 2014 13:31 EST
Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
Faith is an Action Word! Stop Talking and Start Acting
The above headline is what comes to mind when I think about all the violence around me and the rest of the world. Innocent children are dying in record numbers in New Jersey. Just a couple of weeks ago, Genesis Rincon, a 12 year-old girl, was shot in the head while riding her scooter with friends in Paterson, NJ. This is just one of the many sad examples of violence among God`s people I could cite. Of course I am not naÃ¯ve enough to believe this is only a problem in New Jersey, but New Jersey is my concern because it is where I live and have chosen to raise my family. I am of the belief that we must first address our own issues before we can begin to tackle the issues of others. The question and call to action that comes to mind when addressing such issues, is where are our faith-based leaders in the community?
We are calling upon the help of the police officers, city officials, and even the president of the United States to come to our aid. While I am certain all of their input and efforts could be beneficial, we also need to ask where are our faith-based community leaders and their contributions to these situations?
Faith is an action word, whereas many seem to entertain the notion that faith is merely a mental conviction. The Book of Hebrews reveals that faith, in order to be valid, must act. By faith Abel offered a sacrifice, Noah prepared an ark, and Abraham obeyed the Lord. We as a praying community need to put our faith in action. We have to do more than talk about solutions; we must become a part of the solution process especially during these troubling times.
The church has always been a place of solace for the African American Community. It is only fair that during these stressful times and circumstances, we collectively come together with police officers, city officials and whomever else is willing to help make some differences. It shouldn`t have to be a child that we personally know to die before we are motivated to make a change. The church`s role seems to be changing these days. Where it was once the pillar of the community, it seems to be taking a smaller role.
The church has more access to people via social media, yet it seems to be impacting fewer souls. Perhaps we have become so consumed with worldly tactics that we are forgetting our task to bring the Word of God to the world. Please don`t misunderstand, social media is great, and most certainly has its place in ministry but we must be careful to never forget the true mission of Christ. Jesus said, come follow me, but I don`t think He had Twitter on his mind at the time. All I am saying people is this God is real and He wants those called to represent Him to stand up do His work. We must do more to protect our babies. People look to the church for more than just Sunday Sermons.
Church should be about more than great sermons, big collections offerings, and contemporary gospel songs. People need leadership and solutions. If every church leader set one initiative for the neighborhood and see it through, I bet we would begin to see changes. I am not writing about anything I am not wiling to do myself. This isn`t a one-person initiative; this is a worldwide community effort. It will take each of us doing our part to make it successful. I challenge every man and woman of the cloth to stop talking and start acting. Let`s put our faith to work and start protecting our neighborhoods. We have to do what we can, while we can. Faith is an action word and we need to take action now! Can we count on you?
Minister and author Deborah Smith Simpkins is married and the mother of five children (ages 4-24!), Simpkins own life and spiritual walk is testament to the way God`s providence allows for pain, setbacks and challenging obstacles " but always with a rebirth and a sequel in mind. A preacher`s kid (PK) who grew up immersed in The Word, she has had three near death experiences. At the tender age of 17, she experienced a life altering near death car crash where she felt she had left her body for a time. The experience left her severely cut and burned. While in recovery, she not only prayed for the healing of the body " she also began to surrender to the arduous process of healing her soul and making a decision to live a life behind the pulpit. It because of her own life experiences, she feels so strongly about working together to help others. For more information please visit www.deborahsimpkins.com.