Monday, August 19, 2013

Christ Central Ministries

Hey, friends.  Just wanting to share the story of the ministry many of you have already heard about from me.  It is my joy here in the south.  I hope you will enjoy the story and keep the ministry in prayer.  The name says it all:  Christ Central Ministries.  Keeping Christ the center of all its work, Christ Central Ministries (CCM) produces earthly and eternal profit in communities across the Carolinas.
God launched this work in Columbia, SC by offering work to a homeless man and a businessman; both accepted.  Jimmy Jones sat inside the four walls of Elmwood Church the day God had it pelted with rocks by a hungry drunk.  Those rocks captured the attention of the preacher, who sent Jimmy outside to resolve the issue.  Responding with common Christian charity, the businessman invited the homeless man inside and prepared a care package.  The food box was rejected.  “I don’t have a refrigerator, a stove or a can opener.  This is useless to me.”  
His blatant honesty opened the business man's eyes to the work of God offered him.  His willingness to step outside the church launched Christ Central Ministries; so began a work of Community Enrichment designed by God.  Earthly and eternal profits rest solely in the work of God, and CCM delights in the opportunity to demonstrate how focus on the call of God enriches individual lives and communities.   

By definition, Community Enrichment will not produce a drain on the communities it serves.   Primarily funded and operated by Christians with a desire to ‘be the Church’ instead of just being inside the church, CCM demonstrates the reality that Christ-centered living enriches all.  Less than two decades after its start, CCM is a business that contributes millions to the economy of South Carolina.  The City of Columbia saves thousands by having CCM manage its homeless services. CCM GED testing programs generate thousands for the state while moving individuals toward a good goal.  Free post-secondary education through the Institute trains missions-minded individuals in Community Enrichment ministries.  Career education, food, clothing, car repairs and more affect thousands of others across the CCM service area.  Clearly, individuals and communities experience tangible profit from Christ-centered Community Enrichment.

God employed a rock-throwing homeless man to initiate His business of community enrichment—and CCM continues to exemplify creativity.  That first encounter led Jimmy to prepare a meal for some homeless guys.  It eventually moved him far outside his comfort zone, into the homeless community and finally into a new career: Pastor!  The expansion continues as  CCM mission posts pop up across the Carolinas. 
CCM continues to emulate the original design:  meeting needs by embracing honest relationships, investing oneself and focusing on Christ.  A mission of enriching communities as God leads stimulates diverse endeavors.  CCM workers build boats, repair cars, tutor children and adults, offer career education, provide medical care, operate a farm, shelter the homeless, counsel the addicted and much more!  Community enrichment happens as God shares His burdens with receptive hearts who invest their lives in others!  Community enrichment as CCM sees it is a passion driven mission—and the source of that passion is the love of God, which enriches all. 

Still serving the Columbia area, CCM also extends itself to the support and operation of forty independent mission stations across the Carolinas.  CCM assets include over ninety buildings—and thousands of relationships centered on faith in Jesus Christ.  Volunteers carry out the work of God through CCM...from the Executive Director to the pantry worker; salaries never drive the work!  Christ Central relies on God to rise up servants and funding by placing burdens upon receptive hearts.  The ministry avoids any path that might inhibit relying upon the call and provision of God. Community-based, Christ-driven services rooted in prayer are the tools of community enrichment employed by CCM.  In less than twenty years, Christ-centered services have brought transformation and enrichment to thousands in the southeast of America.  To God be all glory!