Friday, June 26, 2009

Serving the Community

(revised by Doug Nichols from Significant Living, December 2008, p. 23)

The secret to servant living is its simplicity, says Dave Workman, author of The Outward Focused Life. Noting that most churches do more planning than doing, Dave says his Church takes about three minutes to provide a few words of instruction before sending members out to serve others.

He asks. “How much training do you need to serve someone? It’s such a simple thing that people catch on right away.”

Simplicity means something that can be done in a maximum of 60 to 90 minutes. When the church handed out free water at an intersection, it gave away 300 bottles in 30 minutes.

Two other recommendations: Do projects in groups. Afterwards, meet for a debriefing session where volunteers can share the reactions they encountered, how others were touched, and pray for them and opportunity to share the Gospel and compassionate care.

“Make it part of the routine on the church’s calendar,” Dave says. “If you’re not doing it every week, maybe once a month, have an outreach on a Saturday morning.”

Finally, the pastor says to maintain a humble attitude. Remember that you’re not trying to sell anything, and if someone rejects the offer, don’t take it personally.

Here is a sampling of servant evangelism projects anyone can try, no matter where they live (for more details, go to

• Offer free gift wrapping for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and so forth.
• Remove snow from walks for no charge.
• Provide shopping assistance for the disabled and shut-ins.
• Sing at a nursing home
• Give away soft drinks, water, newspapers, stamps, or hot chocolate.
• Put quarters in the machines at Laundromats.
• Offer doughnuts to local police and fire-fighters. Put together dinners, snacks, or care packages
for them. Write a letter of appreciation and deliver it with a gift basket.
• Pick up trash in a neighborhood.
• Mow lawns, trim hedges, clean gutters, or rake leaves.
• Sponsor a $1 car wash – where volunteers give $1 to the driver.
• Offer oil changes and minor car repairs for single mothers.
• Clean restrooms for local businesses.
• Pay for a meal of the person behind you at a take-out window.
• Give away coffee shops and restaurant gift cards, or gasoline cards.

Source: Significant Living, December 2008, p. 23

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