Pictured Above: A serve team prepared to Chill the City in Tampa with free water given out during the sweltering heat.
TAMPA–Bringing the love of Christ to the community through offering food and water or meeting other needs is a way of life for attendees of Christ Fellowship Tampa.
The church recently hosted a Chill the City event, where church volunteers handed out cold water bottles to people in parks during the sweltering Florida summer heat.
Several times a year, church attendees go throughout Tampa to Feed the City. On average, 200 volunteers distribute 1,000 bagged lunches at laundromats, parks, bus stops and homeless shelters. Meeting individuals’ physical needs with a bagged lunch provides opportunities for believers to share the gospel and offer prayer with people they meet.
“We started our Feed the City event about eight years ago as a way to give hope to the people in the City of Tampa and to help our members connect and share Jesus with others,” said Pastor Bruce Moore.
Making contact with community residents through one of these events often brings visitors to the church where they are integrated into community groups that go back out into the city and serve in more outreach events.
Robin, a church member who came to faith through the church’s Celebrate Recovery ministry, was homeless when a church member gave her a place to live, discipled her and helped her find a job. She now goes back into homeless camps to minister and has seen multiple former addicts come to Christ and worship and serve at Christ Fellowship.
‘”We regularly have people from the community come to us and say, ‘Hey, I like what you are doing; you’re the church that loves people.’”
“We regularly have people from the community come to us and say, ‘Hey, I like what you are doing; you’re the church that loves people,’” said Moore.
The outreach events open the eyes of believers to see needs all around them. The church has seen an increase in assistance needed for single working mothers and has heard numerous stories of salvation and chains of sin being broken because someone committed to pray for a family member, co-worker or friend who seemed like an impossible person to reach with the gospel.
The process of grouping people into community service groups after Sunday worship has given birth to other ministries, such as Fostering Hope, a ministry to show love and support for foster parents and orphans.
In 2022, the church collected 4,000 Christmas gifts for Tampa orphans by handing out orange bags to friends and co-workers and asking them to place a gift in the bag and return it.
“We simply ask our friends where we live, work and play to place a gift in the bag, and we are able to bless every orphan in Tampa because of the love of people,” said Moore.
The church holds similar events throughout the year to collect canned food items for families in need, gathering as much as two tons of food during a collection period.
“While helping people in need, these events place our members in a place to communicate to their friends, neighbors and co-workers what we are doing to love the city and is foundational to further conversations about Christ’s love for them as well,” added Moore.