‘Stress-Free’ Steps to Serving
“Service projects can sometimes be intimidating, and scary, but if you conjure up just the right amount of courage and go for it, you will not regret it! …..What if each one of us made it our mission to engage ourselves and others in acts of service? Can you imagine the amount of positive change our world would experience? We are all citizens of this impacted world, why not join hands and put in a little effort to make an impact on our world’s wellbeing?!” Sara Hilecher
These challenging words prompted me to think about what practical steps I could take to inspire small group leaders to help their groups embark in acts of service in 2017. So this is what I came up with!
START by having acts of service on the group’s agenda –Make it part of the ‘dna’ of your group. How can this be done? When a new group launches ensure that time is given to not only discuss the priorities of bible study, fellowship, prayer and ministry development but ALSO discuss how the group will endeavour to serve others. Establish serving as part of your group agreement/covenant.
If your group has been going for a while, the new year is a great time to review your group agreement or even embark on one for the first time. Include discussion around how ‘service’ fits for your group. James 2:18 “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
SELECT the group’s ideas for service projects, not ideas imposed by you the leader! – Brain storm and allow the group to make the final decision. I have found that a group’s level of ownership, participation and commitment to service is much higher when it is their idea.
SIMPLE ideas are a good place to begin. Offer to do a few hours gardening for a church or community member. (You could combine it with a small group social outing, like a picnic or BBQ) Set aside a group meeting night to write letters of thanks and appreciation to troops serving overseas. Visit a local nursing home and run a sing-a-long. Need more ideas? Click here.
SCHEDULE your serving times on a yearly or semester group calendar/planner. This means group members can plan accordingly and make service projects a priority.
SEARCH local papers and community websites to see what is happening in your local community and get a feel for what the presenting needs are. I recently read of a young boy who collected boxes of unused coats from friends and family which were then distributed to those in need in his local community. How many boxes of coats could a small group or a network of groups gather?!
SYNCHRONISE your serving with events on your church calendar, volunteer and serve as a group. You can also synchronise your group service project in your local community around Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Halloween or Christmas.
SURPRISE someone! I recently heard of someone who paid not only for their own McDonalds’ drive through order, but the car behind them as well! Imagine the impact you could have if each of your group members were in the drive through line.
SHARE your stories. There is nothing more inspiring and motivating than hearing how a small group has made “an impact on our world’s wellbeing” because they made a choice to serve together.