A Servant of God in the Community
The importance of a community in the lives of the people
living in it, is never disputed ... just overlooked. The
community can change a person's outlook on life, their
personality, their beliefs, or their political (views). How is
this? By someone, taking initiative and being a beacon to their
community through a variety of different ways. One of the most
prevalent ways is to do community service. In this, you are
both giving back to your community and making it a better place.
Giving back to your community will be one of the most
rewarding times you will have on a Sunday afternoon or summer
evening. Not only will you feel good about yourself, you will be
able to watch the difference you're making in a person's life,
firsthand, as their happiness, hope, and friendliness, soar. The
Bible says in Galatians 6:8, "For he that soweth to his flesh
shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the
Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting:" I think this
could easily be applied to our daily lives and sowing good seeds
in others. You reap what you sow in others as well.
Little Things, Big Impact, Long-term Results
When someone thinks of community service, normally a large
undertaking with a lot of organization and work comes to mind.
However, one of the most important ways to serve your community
is in the minor things. If someone elderly lives next to you,
offer to mow their yard at the same time you mow your own. It may
only take a few minutes, but the impact of that service can be
monumental in that person's life. While you go about your daily
life, try to think of ways that you can be a servant to your
community, every week. In the winter, you could sweep driveways
and in the fall, rake leaves. Every, season has a small task that
you could do for someone else.
These small tasks do not take up much time, but they do a
world of good and will end up changing the lives of the people
that you do them for. Just a little bit of sugar turns the bitter
to sweet. And that is what we I need to be in the lives of our
neighbors and community: a little bit of sugar. As we show them
Christ in us, God will work on their hearts and change baking
powder, baking soda, butter, flour, and eggs into tasty cookies
that everyone will enjoy.
Big Things, Big Impact, Short-term Results
The large community service projects are not less
important, but have less impact, because it comes of necessity,
and necessity is not always present. Otherwise, it serves the
same purpose and should be considered when thinking of community
service. Disasters bring about the necessity for volunteers and
help people to bond with one another. They also get a lot of
recognition from the members of the community. This helps
publicize that you are getting out and helping the community and
will encourage others to get out there as well.
Natural disasters only occur once in a great while, so only
serving at these times, will not make a long-term change in
people's, lives. Look at 9/11 and the impact it had on our
Nation. For three months, people were helping other people, going
to church, and being good neighbors to one another. But in just a
few short months, everything went back to 'normal'; people
stopped helping the way they did following 911. To truly make a
lasting impact, you need to have a constant effect on them.
You can give more than just your time and energy; you can
also give knowledge or resources. Sometimes, all at once, or
someone that doesn't have a lawn mower would probably appreciate
you lending them yours for an hour or so a week. Or if someone's
car won't start, you could give them a jump, or a lift to where
they need to go. Your neighbors will enjoy having you in their
community and will in turn be more inclined to help you or
someone else out when the opportunity arises.
The little things, not the big things, are what cause the
change in people. Ask a handful of believers that came to Christ
late in life, and chances are it wasn't because of "The Passion
of the Christ," Billy Graham, or Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven
Life." Though they may have played a part, someone first invited
them to watch, listen, or read, those listed above that made the
These ideas are in no way exhaustive of everything you can
do to make a difference in your community and give back a little
something. They are only a few of my thoughts of ways that we can
use our talents and abilities in our community. Each of us is
unique and so have different ways that we can contribute. Look at
what you are able to do and then employ those talents and
abilities into changing your backyard. Who knows? You may change
the world by just changing one person.
I would like to challenge each person that reads this
article to try and make a difference in their community by
searching out some thing they can do for someone else at least
once a month. Have your spouse and friends keep you accountable
to make sure you do it. Challenge others to make some sort of
community service a part of their lives. We can make a
Craig Moore is a staff writer for Ten Business Solutions and is
the Academic Advisor for Maranatha College. He and his wife,
Erin, currently live in Rogersville, Missouri.
ACTS magazine June 2007, a publication of the Churches of God,
7th Day, Meridian, ID, USA.