Recently the church I pastor held a “Serve Day.” Instead of coming together in the building to sing and hear a sermon, we went into our communities and performed service projects.

These projects ranged from preparing bags for first responders to lawn maintenance to removing downed trees to work at the local elementary school. Around 200 people from our two campuses showed up to serve others.

Every time we try larger community-focused projects, I walk away learning new things and am reminded of things that have fallen to the side. Here are my 5 Thursday Thoughts on our recent Serve Day.

The Smallest Acts Are Appreciated

The first project I showed up on only required us to cut one small limb touching the roof of a trailer. A widow lived in the home, and she was worried about it during storms. It took us less than ten minutes to cut the limb and load it into the truck. The effort was very minimal. But the elderly lady who lives in the home was so grateful. She expressed her gratitude over and over on the phone and on social media as well. We did not feel like we had done much. But she was extremely grateful. The smallest acts sometimes bring the biggest smiles. 

It Is A Chance For New People To Get Involved

Most of the people serving gathered at the church first and then split up into groups for different assignments. One of the things I noticed as people came in was the large number of people who serve nowhere else in the church and how many were fairly new to the church. It was an entry point for people to begin to develop the habit of serving and understanding our church culture. Hopefully, it will be the beginning of a long-term commitment to serving. 

You Discover New Talent

Every single person in the church is gifted. The struggle is there are a lot of gifts of which you are not even aware. Some people are unsure of themselves. Sometimes there is not a clear path for them to use their gifts. Other times people just need to be asked clearly. As we prepared for Serve Day, several people offered talents we did not know they had or had not offered a way for them to use them. Hopefully, they will be able to use them going forward. 

New Relationships Are Formed

It is difficult to spend more than ten minutes with anyone in the church building on a Sunday. Usually, my time is even more limited. But as people went to locations together, they had more time to talk and build relationships. Connections were made that will benefit the church for years to come. 

People Are More Receptive To The Gospel

Years ago, I heard Zig Ziglar say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Jesus would tell us to be salt and light. Make things taste better and help people see better. When we serve, we help people who want to hear the message of Christ. It tastes better when their needs are met. They can see a little better when we have solved a problem for them. Serving others opens doors that nothing else will. 

Serving others should be a mark of every believer and every church. Not only does it make us more like Christ, but the other things that come along with it also have long-term benefits as well. It was a successful day in more ways than one.

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