I thought it might be worthwhile to use a few posts to share some ministry ideas. Most of these will come from my own congregation, but this is not to brag. It’s just that I can only write what I know.
Lately, God has been moving powerfully in my home church to raise up ministries that do all sorts of things. These ministries are rarely initiated by the elders or staff, least of all by me. Rather, we elders have found that our role is to give permission, to provide support, and to get out of the way.
For example, one of our small groups (we call them “Acts 2 Groups”) was touched by the needs of the homeless in our community. Many in Tuscaloosa have lost their jobs due to the currrent recession, although we’ve not been hit nearly as hard as some other places.
Anyway, it’s fairly common to find someone on the street asking for food or money. Rather than “passing by on the other side,” this group decided that they should each Be A Good Samaritan — hence B.A.G.S. They made a list of what they should have on hand to give away, went shopping, and found that for $5 they could stuff a bag with simple food, a razor, water, soap, etc. The idea is that we should be prepared to be generous.
The group leader made a powerful presentation to the congregation. He explained that he’d given a bag of supplies to a homeless man. Sometime later, he saw the same man again, pulled over, and asked him how well the supplies he’d given him had worked out and whether he needed anything more. The man replied, “I really appreciate the supplies, but what I really appreciate is you taking the time just to talk to me like I matter.”
The group then sold, at cost, dozens of bags to the church to be given away as opportunities arise, with encouragement to be sure that we take the time to make the person receiving the bag feel significant.