One of the neatest things about outreaches is that many of them change with the seasons. Fall is a time when many of the outreaches that i have discussed in the summer just will not be effective anymore, so we must start to find needs that can be met and new ways we can serve others to show God’s love even when the seasons change. One of the ways to do this is to simply rake people’s yards. Recently a group of about 16 of us set out to show God’s love in a practical way by going to a neighborhood and going door to door raking leaves.
This outreach was very simple. We went up to the first house and had someone go up to the person at the front door and explain that we are going around raking leaves to show God’s love in a practical way and that we are not taking any donations. After the person agreed to let us rake their yard we would have our entire group rake their front yard. While our group was raking we would send another person to the next house so the person at the front door could visibly see the service we were providing and they would be more likely to allow us to rake their yard. Once you get going and gain momentum there will be no problem finding houses to rake and we never had to wait around for a yard to rake after the initial yard we raked. After we were done raking yards we would send a few people to go back to the door to give them our connection card (this card just explains that God loves them and that there are no strings attached) and to ask if we can pray for them.
The highlight of this outreach came when we met an older couple and we could tell that their yard had not been raked in years. In fact it took our team of 16 about 30 minutes and about 45 bags to finish raking their yard. While we were raking their yard the man of the house came out and told us how much he appreciates us and he pulled down his shirt to show us that he had just had a pacemaker put in. You could see his surgical scars and automatically this service elevated in its meaning. After we were done we sent a couple of people to pray for this man and his wife and to our surprise the man invited our prayer team into his house to pray over over us. As our team walked out I could see on the faces on our prayer team that this man’s prayer had meant a lot to them. I am not even sure if our team got to pray for him, but i know that we came out almost more touched by the experince than the man that we were serving. This taught me and important lesson:
During our outreaches we of course are wanting to reach the lost; however, recently God has revealed to me that we must treat Christians with the same respect and serve Christians with the same effort and love as we would serve the lost. God revealed to me a few weeks ago that I care and treat people who are not Christians better than i treat people that i know are followers of Christ. When you have a mind and a heart to reach the lost it is easy to almost forget our Christian brothers and sisters. All throughout the bible Jesus talks about considering others more important than ourselves, yet he never distinguishes if those others are lost or saved…simply because we should treat both the lost and the saved with the same respect and show God’s love to others equally. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus talks many times about reaching those who do not know him and still the main goal of outreach is to reach those that are lost and do not know God so that we may be able to share the Love of Christ that we have received with them, but in our efforts to reach the lost when we meet other Christians we should serve, love, and pray for them just as we would serve, love, and pray for a lost person. Serving this man, who was a great Christian man, was the highlight of our outreach. While we helped him out by raking his yard it truly was this man who was the blessing to us and his prayer lifted our spirits to go rake the other homes in the neighborhood.
As the year closes we have a few more outreaches planned and I would love if you would come serve with us. December 17th and 18th we have a gift wrapping booth that we will have in a store and we will be wrapping people’s gifts for free as they buy their loved ones presents. We have it set up where you do a 2 hour shift and are with 2 to 3 people wrapping gifts. Also on Christmas Eve at 5 pm we will be passing out donuts to those who have to work on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day we will do the same starting at 10 Am. Contact me on facebook or text/call me (817-694-6185) if you want to be a part of showing God’s love in a practical ways to others during the holidays. Love you guys and hope you will come help us serve.
– Austin Cooper