When people talk about Church Missions it is often assumed that they are referring to a mission trip across the country, or even to the other side of the world. In this post I want to talk about the local church mission, the one that anyone can do, at anytime, right in their neighborhood or town/city.
We often forget about the people in our area, and focus on supporting or going on long distance church mission trips. I believe these types of trips get more attention because they take more money, fundraising, planning and are higher profile. The local mission projects should be just as high profile as we are talking about individuals or in our own community, and we have the opportunity to serve on the spur of the moment, or we can plan time to be of community service, where we have the opportunity to share the gospel with people we get to know.
I want to share with you four local church mission ideas. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to do one or two, or maybe all of them, plus inspire you to look for other ways to serve in your community. Remember, the goal of all missions is to help those in need, and help them come to know the Lord, and mentor them in their infancy as a child of the Most Holy God.
Who Will You Feed Today?
Sadly, most communities have facilities for the homeless or “in need” individuals to go to get a hot meal, maybe soup or chili. Many of these facilities are run by Churches or Christian Organizations as local church missions, others are community sponsored organizations. It doesn’t matter who is running them, they all have the same intent. The positive thing about these organizations is that they don’t judge the patrons, they treat them like real people, people who matter to the community. These centres are run by mostly volunteers and they can use your help. Can you spare an hour or two once a week? Can you help serve the food? If you can’t help serve the food, read on for other ways you can help.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t comfortable serving food, or you aren’t physically able to do it, no problem you can still volunteer. Many of the patrons would love for you to sit and visit with them while they have a meal. They are often lonely and would enjoy a visit. This would give you the opportunity to get to know a new friend, possibly help them on the road to recovery, or help them get out of their situation, or even more importantly, it might give you the chance to share the gospel with them. It is possible that they have never heard it before.
Volunteering at a soup kitchen doesn’t cost you anything other than your time, which I am pretty sure you will realize you get more out of it than you thought. It doesn’t matter what you do, or who you visit, you can and will make a difference!!!
Feel Like a Coffee Today?
Do you go to the local Tim Hortons or Starbucks and grab a coffee to go? Have you ever thought about picking up an extra coffee, tea or hot chocolate and sharing it with someone less fortunate that you know, or even someone who is hanging outside the soup kitchen or on the street. If you are in a hurry you can drop it off and explain you are in a hurry. Better yet, can you take a 15 minute coffee break to stop and visit with the lucky recipient of your beverage. A simple act of kindness such as this is a local church mission, and pleases God.
If you are financially able, you may consider making a large container of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and taking it to where the homeless or less fortunate are during the day and enjoy a coffee with them, learning what their circumstances are, what it would take to get them on their feet and again, you would have the opportunity to share the gospel. Another simple and inexpensive way to serve as a member of your church, in a local church mission capacity.
These are a couple of inexpensive ways to serve God, serve your community, and help another person out. How else could we serve?
Will You Visit Him?
A local church mission that takes more time and commitment, and yes, a little extra money is one that will give you a real opportunity to share the gospel with a person in need. Have you considered taking the opportunity to really get to know one or two individuals and visit with them on a weekly (or more often) basis? This might include buying them coffee in a McDonalds or Tim Hortons and as the friendship develops, it may include the occasional meal. This is really developing a meaningful relationship.
I want to share with you something that a friend of mine has done. This individual came across a homeless person who was panhandling for loose change. He gave him some money, and engaged him in a conversation. One thing led to another, and he went back each week to say hi, and give him some more money. This relationship continued to develop and eventually they would go for coffee, then supper, and now they hang out at my friends house every Saturday. His new friend joins my friend and his family for supper each Saturday night. This is what I would call an ultimate local church mission opportunity.
I am not saying that you should invite someone you don’t know into your house, especially if you have small children, but you can meet with them in a public place, and pick them up for church on Sunday morning.
I Don’t Have Time!
I understand this statement. Until recently, I thought like this. Now I know I can make the time. What can we change in our schedule, take out of our lives, to make room to help. If you really can’t find the time to volunteer in a local church mission, or if you are not able to for health reasons, or for whatever reason, would you consider making a donation to help out a local church mission. Maybe your church runs a program, or someone in your church works within a local church mission.
If you don’t have anyone to donate to, and you live in Canada, may I suggest you donate to Streets Alive Mission, based in Lethbridge, AB. They help the street people in Lethbridge, feeding them, clothing them, keeping them warm, educating them, providing addiction assistance and learning, job training and so much more. To find out more about what they do, check out their website at Streets Alive Mission. You are also able to donate from this website.
If you are from another country, I would encourage you to find an organization in your country that helps those in need on a local mission basis, and support them.
What Would Jesus Do? This blog is not intended to shame you, or compel you to help out, but simply to ask you what would Jesus Do when it comes to local church missions. I encourage you to study the Word and make your own decisions.
All is Well!!