How One Baby Shower Changed My Church

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When we started Christ Church, my wife was pregnant with our third child. There were a number of women who hovered around Fran to ensure that her needs were met. As she began to grow larger and larger in expectation of her due date, some of the women got together and offered to have a baby shower. What a great gesture of love.

We were a young family. My salary was very low in the early days of the church. We were barely making ends meet. I was looking at our third child (the one to come) and counting the cost in dollars and cents. I was getting nervous. Our son would be the first baby born at Christ Church…but the high cost of diapers, cribs, high chairs, receiving blankets, and multiple outfits was a great worry for me.

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So when I heard that the women of the church were going to hold a baby shower for my wife, I was overjoyed!  My prayers were answered! A provision of baby supplies would be an unexpected windfall. Whew!

But Fran saw it another way. On her own, she announced that all the gifts given at the baby shower would be given back to the church for its new nursery needs. We were getting ready to open up for our first Sunday service and all the things the new Roseberry baby needed were needed many times over for the new church nursery. We needed one playpen…the church needed five. We needed a few bottles and bags of diapers; the church would need far more. Fran came home and told me what she had done. I swallowed hard. I stammered…and choked a bit.

But my wife had just done an amazing thing. She had started to create a new way of thinking. She had shown by her example, it is better to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) It was a small gesture…but it spoke loudly to the entire church. The gesture said, “God’s people are givers!”

Sure enough, all the gifts for our unborn son were given to the church. Every one of them. Every diaper, diaper pail, bottle, receiving blanket, crib, highchair, playpen, blanket, bottle, etc. went NOT to our family…but to our makeshift nursery in the school we rented. (And the church gave over and above for our needs as well!)

Over the 31 years of ministry there, Christ Church has demonstrated continuous generosity in many ways. It is always met its budget. (Not without some strong year-end encouragement, by the way.) It has given overwhelmingly to human and ministry needs on the international mission field. It has had an amazingly generous heart for outreach and social ministry in the local community. It has treated its staff and clergy with generosity in every case.  It is been a generous church.

I believe I know when this culture began…at a baby shower.

Published on

April 9, 2016

Author

David Roseberry

David Roseberry leads the nonprofit ministry, LeaderWorks. He was the founding rector of Christ Church, Plano, Texas, and is the author of many books. He lives in Plano with his wife, Fran.

View more from David Roseberry

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