Ten years ago, Kingsland closed its doors on a Sunday morning. Instead of coming to church, we mobilized our members to go out into the community en masse to be the church. We challenged our small groups to identify needs in our community and then to develop a plan to meet those needs — in essence, to be the hands and feet of Jesus beyond our campus.
So began our first Caring for Katy. The experience turned out to be greater than we imagined. We touched the lives of so many people in need throughout our community. We engaged with widows and single moms, food pantries, community ministry partners, sister churches, recovery ministries, hurting families, the homeless, and so many others. And when it was all said and done, we discovered that God had touched our own hearts in the most meaningful of ways.
One of the very best things about our annual Caring for Katy initiative is that it allows families to make memories of serving together. Caring for Katy is, at its core, a marriage of the home and missions. The energy that results from this synergy moves the families in our church in the direction of people in need. It allows us to model for our children what it means to regard others as Christ would.
As we prepared for our 10th Annual Caring for Katy, we looked back to reflect on the milestones along the way. What we found was amazing. While some churches I have spoken to through the years have expressed fear of how closing their doors on a Sunday might impact their budget, we have trusted God to care for us as we venture out to care for our community. Instead of wondering what might happen to us if we help others, we have consistently asked what will happen to others if we do not help.
We must always challenge ourselves to go beyond — to do more than sit, soak, and even sour in the pews. Like Jesus, we must boldly move in the direction of people in need and care for them as He would. This is salt leaving the salt shaker kind of stuff. This is light bursting out from under a bushel and reaching into every dark and desperate corner of our community kind of stuff. This is applied theology. This is what it means to be the church.
Our 10th Annual Caring for Katy is now history. Today, more than two-thousand of our members expressed the love of Christ in the most practical of ways in more than thirty-five locations throughout our community. The stories I have already heard are heartwarming. From a young woman whose husband was tragically killed in a car accident to an octogenarian whose home was severely damaged by floodwaters — Jesus showed up in their lives in a real way through the hands and feet of our people.
I am grateful to be a part of a family of faith that truly cares about and is engaged in loving and serving its community. Katy is our slice of geography. We care about what happens in our community and about our neighbors. Thank you Kingsland, for ten wonderful years of Caring for Katy. Only heaven will reveal the full impact of every act of kindness and expression of love you have shared with so many in our community.