The way to make a difference in this world is to take what you’ve learned in your Bible study and that which you’ve gained through worship, then combine it with a good measure of prayer and put it into action serving others.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV)
Below I have a long list of what church members are doing around the country to share the love of God with others. You can read more about each of these churches by clicking on the Stories Category. Every one of the service participants listed below will tell you that your Christian faith comes alive when you reach out to others with a helping hand. You will not only be making a difference in the lives of those you are helping, you will also make a difference in your own life. Serving God by serving others is the fuel that expands your Christian faith into something tangible. Serving others is by far the quickest way to move closer to God.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Work your way through this list considering how you might use your talents and resources to serve God by serving others. Encourage other members of your church to join you in finding new ways to reach out to your community.
A deacon at the St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stockton, Stephen Bentley, uses his talent to repair bicycles for those in need in his community.
A group of high school students and adult volunteers from Faith Lutheran Church in Troy, Michigan, worked together completing community projects that included painting, installing a deck, and fixing leaking roofs.
Grace and Mercy Ministries grew out of founder Tanya Murphy’s desire to help feed those in need. They grew to a partnership with over 50 churches providing food for hungry people.
18-year-old Haley Brown, collected used wooden pallets and turned them into towel racks, planters, and other decorative items to sell, then donated all the money to feed those in need.
Victory Christian Center, in Liberty Township, Ohio, took over a local gas station in a low income neighborhood and paid for a full tank of gas for over a hundred vehicles.
A group of ladies from the First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Mississippi, worked together to put together The Father’s Closet, supplying free clothes to those in need in their community.
St. Agatha Catholic Parish in North Lawndale, a suburb outside of Chicago, has developed a program to help young girls find their way into jobs in technology by providing space for training.
Retired third grade teacher, Debi Mazura, directed a fundraising effort that helped drill wells, build a church, and pay for schooling and medical attention to dozens of young people in Tanzania.
6000 plus volunteers from Central Christian Church, a large church in Arizona, took the day off from Sunday worship and instead performed maintenance and repair work in 95 local schools.
In Chesterfield County, VA, The Lord’s Church Baptist congregation serves their community with a clothes closet, distributing food to those in need, and a college scholarship program.
At Saint Stephen Lutheran Church in Marlborough, MA, a group of teens used their school vacation time to volunteer at the local senior living facility, perform maintenance tasks at a summer camp facility, and help pack food at the food bank.
Several youth groups consisting of middle school and high school students, guided by adult volunteers, from a group of churches in Texas, joined together to help make repairs to damaged homes after Tropical Storm Harvey.
150 churches, in St. Louis, MO, are working together to find solutions to spiritual, social, and economic issues that are troubling their community.
Partnering with local civic leaders and businesses, Northside Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, developed a non-profit organization called CORE, Community Organized Renewal Efforts. Together they are providing many different community service needs.
Connect Fellowship Church, In Gulfport, Mississippi, has made community service a central part of their ministry. Volunteers from the church are well-known for their hard work and dedication.
In Florida, at the New Covenant United Methodist Church, teens are encouraged to spend their summer vacation in service to others at the local food bank, in homeless outreach, and performing minor repairs throughout the community.
Working with a grant from the Episcopal Church, the Appleton Episcopal Ministries, in Macon, Georgia, have built an enrichment program for children from low income families that include reading development, history, civic engagement, social justice, dance, and music.
A senior pastor in Champaign, Illinois, Jason Epperson, has requested his staff members all commit to at least 10 hours a week of community service, setting an example for the congregation that now provides hundreds of local volunteers.
A tradition at the Restoration Temple of Deliverance in Austin, Texas, is to provide a free shopping experience for low income families at Christmas. They fill a gymnasium with new toys, shoes, clothes, and grocery items including turkeys, and allow families to shop for what the need with no cash register at the end.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Hope Church dispatched hundreds of volunteers to take part in what they called the “God and Do” weekend. They worked on a number of community service projects that included neighborhood cleanups, help at the food pantry, landscaping, serving meals at a nursing home, and many others.
The Church That Matters in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, just outside of Tulsa, decided to take Sunday worship off and spend that time in community service. All the church members spread out across their community serving where needed. One group went to a laundromat in a low income area and passed out quarters, detergent and softener.
A group of churches in Ypsilanti, Michigan, have begun working together on their community service project. They have come to realize they are not in competition, but are all on the same mission to serve the same God.
The CarePortal system is a computer program of the Global Orphan Project, that connects those who need help with those who can provide that help. The system is currently connected to over 1,600 churches ready to serve the needs of families through the Department of Human Services.
In Cleves, Ohio, Whitewater Crossing Christian Church has developed a program they call Solve 7 that is dedicated to solving 7 problems: food, clothing, family, education, health, housing, and slavery in various parts of the world. Church members serve through participation in various programs and by making donations in support of those programs.
I pray this list has inspired you to develop something similar to what is presented here or to reach out to others in a new way that is unique to your community, your church, and your personal talents and resources. You don’t need to go far to find someone in need. You will make an enormous difference in the lives of those you help. Spend some time in prayer asking God to point the way for you to lift up the lives of others on your own, with a group of friends, or with your entire church. You will be a great blessing and you will be greatly blessed.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context. Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations. In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon. Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.