On Sunday, March 4, 2018, as part of Pete's sermon in the Reset series titled "Generosity," we took up a special offering for our Benevolence Fund. Jonathan Deatherage, our Communications Director, interviewed Pete later that week to discuss the topic more. Here's an excerpt from their conversation.
- ...when you get into the Benevolence process, you don’t show up and we write you a check. It doesn’t work that way. You show up, we sit down, and we’re like, “All right, tell us what’s going on.” We’ll ask questions about [things like] how is this impacting your marriage? Are the kids doing okay? I mean, we care about you as people. We care about your family. And financial stress is usually really hard on marriages, so we’re kind of assuming there’s marriage stuff going on, too. We want to talk to you; we want to help. (Listen to or read the entire interview at benttree.org/reset-series/weekly-emails/)
Here's a reminder of another beautiful story of God's provision through the Benevolence ministry at Bent Tree. Dave Riley's story was originally published on April 28, 2017.
What does the love of Christ look like within our community?
I want to share Dave Riley’s story with you. His LifeGroup and the Benevolence Ministry at Bent Tree loved and supported him at a time of desperate need.
In 1998, when I was 18 years old, I was paralyzed while I was skiing. I moved to Dallas on a whim, and I didn’t know anyone here. I was looking for churches, and in 2012, I found Bent Tree. Soon after that, I joined a singles group. Over the years, this LifeGroup has become like my family.
In November 2016, I was going to be out of work for six months due to surgery I needed to have. I wasn’t going to be having any income. To be honest with you, that terrified me. I thought, Am I going to be evicted from my apartment? Am I going to lose my car?
My LifeGroup did everything they could to support me. They prayed for me, spent an endless amount of time at my bedside, and they even reached out to Bent Tree’s benevolence fund. Pastor Jim White came to my bedside in the hospital and introduced the Benevolence Ministry to me. He explained that as a member of Bent Tree, I was cared for, loved, and supported. He shared how this ministry could help me with the concerns I had.
Here we are five months later. I’m fully healed and back at work full-time. When I reflect on my time in the hospital and in recovery, I’m awestruck that this kind of grace and ministry exists at this church. I’m grateful that this church willingly offers assistance to people in my situation.
I want to thank Bent Tree and the Benevolence Ministry for letting God use you to provide for me when I needed it the most.
This story is an example of John’s words in 1 John 3:18:
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
It’s an image of the church — how we live and how we love one another. Isn’t it beautiful when we allow Christ to love others through us?
This story was originally shared in the worship service at Bent Tree Carrollton on April 2, 2017.