This is the first blog post in a series about different ways you can do ministry, even as things have changed. Whether you are a teen, parent, young adult, regular adult, or grandparent, we are all members of the body of Christ called to show his love to others.
Think Really Local
Local ministry doesn't just mean within your area code, city, town, or region. It can be even smaller and closer than you think. Who is physically closest to you right now as you read this? Maybe it’s your mother folding laundry. Your spouse playing with the dog. Your sibling struggling with their homework. Your own family may be a part of the unreached. They may not be. But now that you have more time to spend with them than ever before, this is the perfect opportunity to start those gospel conversations.
What if you live alone? How about your neighbors in the apartment or house next door? Or the mail carrier and delivery driver that comes by with regularity? They have been working hard this whole time as essential workers, risking their safety to allow us to stay home.
Take this as a time to be intentionally relational and transparent with those closest to you. Seek to be authentic about your faith and how you are facing this challenge. Remember that there are multiple ways to show Christ. During our summer VBS time at the recreation center, we are not allowed to use the name of Jesus or God without being asked first by the kids. Instead, the primary way we show Christ to them is through tangible acts of love: painting with the kids, playing with them, and listening to them. The same thing can work now. You can encourage and brighten someone’s day in many different ways and point them to Christ. Here are a few suggestions, but the options are as limitless as your imagination.
Make a small treat and attach it to the mailbox.
Give someone the gift of time. Set aside a portion of your day to be with them.
Acts of Service:
Take over doing a chore for someone else in your house.
Help a younger sibling with homework.
Cook dinner for your roommates.
Write a note of encouragement and tape it to your neighbor’s door.
Decorate your windows, sidewalk, driveway, anywhere really with encouraging words for those who walk or drive by.
The truth is though, that while the world was turned upsidedown for much of this year, a pandemic is not the only time for these things. As all across the country we are beginning to gather again, we can't forget to be kindest with those who we see the most.
There is so much hurt in this world. Kindness to those closest to your home costs you nothing, and when done intentionally to share Christ, opens the door to deeper, authentic conversations that can change a life through the grace of God.