As the holidays approach you may be overwhelmed with the many opportunities that exist to serve our community, especially with those seen as less fortunate, mostly based on economic status. Knowing that God has called us to love and serve the poor, I want us to consider how to love well.
I will make some assumptions here so please forgive me if they don’t apply to you. (Even consider where these assumptions apply but you wish they didn’t.) Whenever we have the opportunity to serve keep in mind it usually means we are coming from a place of where we have the freedom to walk away from this particular hardship. This is another way of understanding the word privilege. Placing this advantage before God will help us humbly learn as we serve.
Some things to consider before you serve:
- Who am I volunteering for? Why does the organization exist?
- How does this event serve the bigger purpose of the organization?
- What preconceived ideas, judgements, or hurts do I have about the group I am serving?
Some things to consider while you are serving:
- What are ways of maintaining the dignity of the person you are serving. The language we use to refer to ‘friends’ or ‘clients’ instead of labels based on circumstances. (Ex: the homeless man, the poor family)
- What is your role here? Come as a guest and a learner. Remembering there’s more to the story that we can see. God is here, already at work.
- What you are doing is important, but also consider how you are being. Are you leaning into the Holy Spirit. Are you praying for eyes to see? Ears to hear?
Some things to consider when you are done:
- Journal or discuss with your group:
- What did you see?
- What did you hear?
- What surprised you?
- What did you feel?
- If there is grief because of the unfair or broken parts of the world take time to lament. Read Lamentations 5. Replace the laments listed with the grief and brokenness you have seen, but remember to return to God’s sovereignty.
- Prayerfully consider if this is a place where God would want you to regularly join in the work He is doing.