Joyful Cooperation


We have different gifts…If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6-8

On a recent weekend, our church served four inner city ministry sites with hard labor and tender love. We called it “Cross Over Houston.”  Cross Over Houston was more than a day; it was more than an event – it was a demonstration of the body of Christ working together as it was intended. On the day of the event, I had the privilege of visiting all of the sites.

Each of the four sites were very different settings – a church, a home, a recreation center and a residential center. They each required different skills and supplies and equipment. They each had different measurements for success for their projects. All were swarming with volunteers from all ages and walks of life. They included…

* a senior adult in a wheel chair handing out wristbands for the site workers
* children planting flower boxes
* teens shoveling gravel
* volunteers with more paint on the walls than on themselves
* ladies packing and delivering hundreds of lunches.

The church staff pitched in as volunteers and workers. The day was a testimony to God blessing an effort that was filled with divergent parts and personalities, and blending them to be a unified expression of purpose with approximately 500 people serving and supporting.. The one consistent element at the sites was a sense of “can do” and joy.

There were no problems that were not overcome with solutions. One site captain recorded hearing such phrases as, “Here, let me help you; that is too heavy for one person,” “I’ll hold the ladder for you,” “That looks great,” and many more expressions of joyful cooperation. What a picture of how it could be.  And why not?  Why not live life in settings where we help others and others help us?

That is what First Place 4 Health offers:  Finding encouragement when things are a struggle – prayers, phone calls and positive meetings; experiencing celebration and praise for victories both large and small, engaging in life changing disciplines and cheering others on to do the same.

We all have something to offer, and have needs where others can give some help. Why not find victory in the First Place 4 Health experience in joyful cooperation.
With the grace of God and the willing help of God’s people, we can have joy.

Dr. Bill Heston

Dr Bill Heston is Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Houston and is Licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy.