How the Church Can Truly Be the Church

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Marti Pieper

What do I want you to remember after reading this blog?

  • The church is most beautiful when it’s being the church.
  • When like-minded people come together, they can accomplish much.
  • People should do what they can do and not think so much about what they can’t do.
  • Accepting help is humbling, refreshing and right.
  • Not being able to find adequate words with which to say “thanks” is frustrating.
  • Paying it forward can be more emotional than receiving a gift.
  • Sometimes telling others about a need is hard. Do it anyway.
  • Be open to the Holy Spirit telling you someone needs your help. Then follow through.

That’s a lot to remember. Do you agree it might be worth it?

What’s My Story?

In August, 2016, two friends helped me with my products. As they transferred boxes from one car to the other, I commented about how easy it was. I remember them looking at me, confused.

I explained that I have an older car with a very deep trunk. One friend immediately commented that I need a new car—something like theirs with a hatchback that allows for easy loading and unloading of heavy suitcases and boxes. I rather quickly dismissed the comment and explained that my car worked fine and I wasn’t in a financial situation where a car payment would be a good thing to add.

Fast forward to last May when my chiropractor and I decided his medical team would inject stem cells into my back in hopes of healing what was long-standing and increasingly challenging pain.

Dr. Gideon saw my car. He told me he hesitated to keep treating me if I continued to drive that car. He was concerned about the loading and unloading of my product in and out of the deep trunk. But it was also the fact that I had to fall into a deep seat and then make a real effort to step out of my car, which was low to the ground. Also, the seats weren’t fitted, so my back had absolutely no support. Again, in that instant, I dismissed his comment as important but irrelevant, because I didn’t think I could do anything about it.

Trust God

Before the end of that day I believe it was the Holy Spirit who reminded me of my friend’s comment from the previous August. After praying and searching my heart to make sure my motivation was appropriate, I called her. I briefly explained that she might have actually had a Holy Spirit-powered, divine inspiration many months prior, based on what was now going on with my back.


I asked if she was serious in her offer to help get me a car. I had no idea what she had in mind, but I decided that if I teach and believe that our relationships are intentional and God introduces us to the people He wants us to know, then acting upon her verbalized interest and concern was appropriate. She listened and very quickly exclaimed, “I’m on it. Glad to help. No problem. You’ll hear from me soon.”

Humbling. That’s what it was as I recognized that this friend and the other friend who was a part of the original conversation were going to encourage people from their church to help me in my time of need. As I understand it, emails were sent to people who have gotten to know me and the reason for my need was explained.

Notes and checks arrived in my mailbox. Before I knew it, people from one church decided to be the church. They blessed me with not just a car, but an ideal car for my situation. One gift would not have bought me a car, but working together, small gifts and large gifts made the difference. I was reminded that we can all do something.

My friends worked with Steve Beck, my fabulous salesman, and he found the car they wanted to buy for me. I was overwhelmed when a friend dropped me off at the dealership so that I could see my new car for the first time and drive it home. It’s still hard to put into words an adequate expression of my gratitude to the people who stepped up and did something precious.


Thank-you notes have been sent. Many prayers of gratitude have been spoken to God, the One who gives the greatest gifts of all. I’ve asked Him to bless my friends in beautiful ways.

I paid it forward by giving away my old car to someone I knew needed it. That was such a fabulous feeling and continues to be a reason I’m grateful for my friends’ generosity. Yes, my fitted and heated seats are helping my back tremendously. Having a hatchback for loading and unloading boxes and heavy suitcases for airport trips is fabulous. Knowing my friend has reliable transportation gives me great joy. Great joy!

What are you going to do today or this week? Will you be on the lookout for someone who needs help, and will you respond? Do you have a need, and have you been afraid to tell someone? Maybe today is your day. Could you pass a blessing forward and be doubly blessed? Do you need to thank someone for something? Accept help? With others from your church, how can you be the church? {eoa}

Dr. Kathy Koch is the author of Screens & Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in A Wireless World.

This article originally appeared at

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