Reaching Out in Your Community
By going outside the church walls, we show God’s tangible love and care to many who have never seen it.
"Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare." Jeremiah 29:7
"Don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God." Hebrews 13:16
Recently, my church has started encouraging our congregation to get involved in local community service. Many people already serve inside the church -- as teachers, cleaners, musicians, and more. But by going outside the church walls, we show God’s tangible love and care to many who have never seen it.
It can be as simple as picking up trash in a neighborhood, or as involved as starting a mentoring program for at-risk children at the local elementary school.
Also, you may find organizations near you that you can work with or pray for. Here are some kinds of groups that God might call you to serve with.
Jesus' brother posed the question, "If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?" (James 2:15-16). Rescue missions help provide for the basic needs of people who are homeless or impoverished. Right now, you can pray for these organizations that follow the Lord's example of caring for the poor. Ask the Lord if He is calling you to serve, donate to, or otherwise partner with a rescue mission.
Women's Shelter or Crisis Pregnancy Center
James gave further instruction: "Pure and genuine religion means caring for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27). And the Apostle Paul told his disciple, Timothy, "Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her" (I Timothy 5:2-3). Ask the Lord if He is calling you to help protect the most vulnerable in your community -- abused women, or the unborn.
Some ministries share the Gospel through loans for small business start-ups, according to this principle in Psalms: "[the godly] are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly" (Psalm 112:4-5). These ministries lend money for people to start small businesses, while teaching the borrowers about the Lord and how to grow in their faith. Successful small businessmen and women are able to provide for their families and build up their communities, repay their loans, and expand the ministry by lending money to other entrepreneurs. Ask the Lord if He is calling you to bless your community by working with this kind of ministry.
This week’s Prayer, Care, Share Guide below shows a different way we can care for others by caring for groups or organizations.
Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Pray this week:
You will be able to serve those in need.
People won't care what you know, until they know that you care'. Think about that... how have you shown the love of Jesus through your actions? What can you do this week to show someone the love of Jesus? Find ideas by talking to another Christian.