07 Dec Communal service – what can you do with your church?
You’ll find a poignant phrase painted on the wall at SOS: Empowered People. Thriving Communities. We wholeheartedly believe this mantra, and we strive to see it to fruition through each of our programs.
But if you’ve come to camp, and you desire to seek justice in your own communities, you can come up against some barriers. The first is often knowing where to start. Don’t fret – we have some ideas that your youth group can use to create community and impact under-resourced areas in your community.
One-time service projects are helpful, but making an effort to build lasting relationships makes an impact. If you want to help empower people, you need to know and walk beside them. As you build trust with the people you serve, they may open up about different struggles and new ways you can help. And, as you become friends, the service becomes less about meeting needs and more about loving your friend faithfully.
Be steadfast in your commitment.
Be there, and be there regularly. All relationships in life are nurtured when they’re given full and frequent attention. You can’t build trust and friendship quickly, but committed and faithful service will eventually yield fruit.
Ask how you can help.
Offering unsolicited service doesn’t demonstrate a desire to meet people and help them where they are. Step out in faith, with leaders at your church, and ask your neighbors how you can help them. Then, make a conscious effort to meet their needs – be it food, shelter or other resources. This can also be done by reaching out to other organizations already doing work in your community and ask them how you can get involved.
Extend an invitation.
Entering a church can be scary, especially when you don’t know anyone and you feel uninvited. Inviting your new friends to your church may alleviate some fear they had about going to church and opens the door for discipleship.