“The work is great but the workers are few.” While these are the words Jesus used to illustrate the harvest that yields a crop of people it also reflects the sentiments of special needs pastors and mentors in the harvest of people and churches who are willing to give their time to people with intellectual disabilities. In Denver and Colorado Springs, Friendship Fellowship is about to close a third season. In between and throughout the summer until after Labor Day a group of leaders will host workshops at area churches, train new mentors and hopefully work with people who will plant more Friendship Fellowships along the Front Range. “God’s kingdom is like a mustard seed,” Jesus tells his disciples, “A man took the seed and planted it. Now the mustard seed is the smallest seed of all. But it grows into the biggest plant in the garden. It becomes a tree. The birds fly to it. The sit on its branches.” These words connect with the synoptic gospels in Matthew (13:31-35) Mark (4:30-34) and Luke 13 (18-21).
Yeast and human nature
People who work at Friendship Fellowship understand the concept of the Kingdom that Jesus illustrates. “God’s kingdom is like yeast, a woman mixed the yeast with a lot of flour. She mixed it all through the batter.” From agency workers to directors, from people who volunteer and guide people with special needs, their joy increases when their service increases. Jesus continues with how even finances increase with our right attitudes of giving. “God’s kingdom is like riches in a field.” “The riches were hidden under the ground. A man who was digging found them. He covered them up again. He was very glad to find the riches. So he sold everything he owned so he could buy the field.” Those who have looked into Friendship Fellowship invest in “buying the field” once they see what a treasure the ministry is. “To experience life change helps us correct our vision, to rise to the challenge of helping and investing in others.”
Good fish and bad fish
From a mustard seed, to yeast and from a treasure and a field, the proposition and the prospectus is that when men and women give they invest; when men and women take time to guide, they enrich, and when they take the gifts given and invest them in other lives they reach more people, they grow ministry, they serve in leadership and they communicate the message, they walk the mission, and they sing and play the music together. “God’s kingdom is like the precious pearl, it was the best. Would you sell everything to get the pearl? “God’s kingdom is like a net in the lake,” Jesus tells us, “Many different kinds of fish swim into it, filling the net.” The fishermen pull up the net, they put the fish in baskets.” Thrown out are the bad fish.
Teachers, preachers and you
“Some teachers know about God’s kingdom,” says Jesus. “They are like people who own houses. They have rooms where they store things. At times they bring new things out of storage and sometimes they bring old things out. The last unit at Friendship Fellowship this season are the stories of Jesus. “Jesus hardly said anything to the people without a story,” according to author Karyn Henley who compiled the stories of the Bible in a children’s book called “God’s Story.” “But he told his friends what the stories mean. So the psalm came true. “I’ll talk in stories. I will tell secrets hidden since the world was made.”
Becoming a guide, a friend and experiencing fellowship
If you would like to invest time and or money in Friendship Fellowship it costs $22 a month to reach one person with special needs for curriculum; crafts and staffing. For others it costs an hour a week and for some it takes both. If you would like to find out more and perhaps even start Friendship Fellowship at your church, day program or community center e-mail Pastor Rich at email@example.com.