In the current exhausting political climate, most of us are hungry for some sort of encouragement and a reminder of why we love where we live. We need communities that are unified and working together. We need our coming together to be stronger than the arguments that threaten to tear us apart. It starts with giving back.
We long to see this in our nation, in our cities and in our communities. The reality is that it should start in our churches. When our churches become the driving force for unity, then healing can follow. When Christians will lead by serving their fellow citizens, to their right and to their left, a quiet movement begins to take back the hope that division tries to steal.
This looks different in each community, but it begins with me and you looking around us for unmet needs. Then getting up and going to work by grabbing the hands of those within our influence and working side by side. Serving someone else does a number of things:
Motivates us, because we are DOING something. Sometimes the problems in our church or city can be overwhelming and make us feel powerless. The amazing thing is when we do even one small act that helps someone, we break through that powerlessness and become empowered. We CAN make a difference!
Blesses someone else which leads to our JOY! When you selflessly bless or serve someone by helping them or meeting a need, you actually reap the benefit and reward of joy. The high that follows blessing through serving can be addictive! It lifts your spirits and energizes you to continue helping others.
Reminds us to be thankful. When we help someone else, particularly when we are meeting a physical need or exerting physical energy, it opens our eyes to someone else’s circumstances. This should lead us to a greater level of appreciation for the many ways we are blessed, whether physically, spiritually, emotionally or otherwise.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Help a single mom with home repairs.
- Host a baby shower for your local crisis pregnancy center. They always need to restock their shelves with diapers, formula, baby wipes, and more.
- Visit a nursing home in your area and make a friend. Set up a weekly date to watch their favorite show together or take a walk.
- Volunteer at a local elementary school to read with kindergartners or participate in a mentoring program.
- Offer to do yard work for a senior citizen in your church and spend some time getting to know him/her.
- Fill a gallon Ziploc bag with supplies like a pair of socks, protein bar, a bottle of water, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and carry it in your car so when you see a homeless person you have something tangible to give him/her.
There are so many ways to give back in your community and in turn receive the encouragement that comes from giving. What is one way this November you can lead the way in giving back?