Churches provide foundation for active faith


(Rand Jenkins is the newest member of the Christian Life Commission staff. He is in a new role -- CLC specialist. Below, Rand explains some of the things in his background that have shaped his call to this ministry.)

My childhood in community-minded churches provided the foundation for my pursuit of an active faith. Born in Fort Worth and raised in Franklin, Tenn., I have always been part of an active family and vibrant church. In Fort Worth, my dad was on staff at Broadway Baptist Church and in Franklin, he worked at the Baptist Sunday School Board and my mom was on staff at First Baptist Church of Nashville.

At age 8, I became a Christian and that began my growth in faith and being discipled by my parents and countless others through First Baptist Nashville, Samford University, and churches my wife, son, and I have been part of. We are now members of First Baptist Church in Arlington.

Food and Family

During my formative years, family suppertime discussions on widely ranging topics shaped my Christian worldview. (My southern heritage considers suppers to be evening meals and dinners to be big lunches.) Some of our meals were complex, some were easy and some were burnt beyond recognition. Being involved in numerous sports, having a sister active in band, and both parents working seems like regular family mealtimes would be impossible. However, I remember them and now experience the difficulty of creating those family mealtimes. My connection between food (I’m still a foodie) and family growth was created through my family life and is the reason for my passion to help children and families have the food they need.

When I consider families without food, I pair with it the lack of a family gathering. Missing this time together adds to the problem of going hungry. It stresses children and creates a sense of failure for caring parents. Christians are told to feed the hungry. We are commanded by Jesus to love others as self. So, if we care enough to feed ourselves, we are required to care enough to feed others.

Churches and Meeting Needs

Churches are to be conduits through which people in need are fed. Some churches do a good job meeting the needs of their community; others do a great job. One of my goals is to get all churches to be great at doing good. A great way to do this is to support the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in addition to what your church does to meet the hunger needs of those in your immediate neighborhood.

I’ve been married to Denise since 1995, and we have a 10-year old son. We are an active family in church and with hobbies like golf, baseball, basketball, travelling, running, triathlons and cycling. I’m an avid cyclist, bicycle racer (coerced into racing an Ironman, too) and have created ways that enable cyclists to fund hunger projects by participating in the sport they love – Bike Out Hunger.

I’m excited about my new venture with the Christian Life Commission as we work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ who act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.

Pedal harder.