A few weeks ago, our church sent its members around door-to-door in our neighborhood, putting fliers on everyone’s door.
A thought struck me: wouldn’t it have been more effective if the church members would have knocked on the door and asked, “How can I help you today,” “Is there something I help you with,” “Can I minister to you in some way” or the like.
Have you ever seen the show, 7th Heaven? The minister does recruit people to go to his church. He doesn’t say, like most churches today, “I can’t help you unless you go to my church.”
He helps anyone who is in trouble, usually going beyond the call of duty–running errands for an elderly woman, inviting people to dinner who are hungry, taking people into his own house.
And what happens? His church is filled on Sunday. Why? Because he helped the people in his community–black, white, male, female, adult, child, Catholic, Jewish, Atheist.
So what can we take away from this? Being a Christian is more than carrying a Bible, quoting Scriptures and passing out tracts. Being a Born-again Christian is a lifestyle, a way of life.
If you want to be an effective witness for Christ, start by helping in your own community. Find a need and fill it.
Does your neighbor need a baby-sitter because she is a single mother who works nights? Does your local parks and recreation need a coach? Maybe the guy down the street needs a little encouragement because he lost his job.
It is not as much what we say that people pay attention to as what we do.
Throughout Jesus’ life, He applied this concept. Never did you hear Jesus ask a person, “Do you go to my synagogue” before He helped a person.
He helped a woman at a well. He helped people who came up to Him on the street. He helped people on the way to the synagogue. He helped people in the synagogue.
Whenever people were in need and believed, Jesus helped them.
He was so well known that when the lady with the issue of blood touched His garment, she had to press through a crowd of people.
In the same way, we need to be keeping our ears and eyes open to people we can help in our own community.
A lot of people have grand visions of going to Africa or Mexico to help people. And there is nothing wrong with that.
However, before you buy an one-way ticket to parts unknown, practice by helping the people around you.
There are hurting people around you. People who need encouragement. People who need God. People who need help with their kids, their lives, their jobs.
And what if you are the only time in their whole lives that someone did something nice for them? What if you are the only time they ever see the love of Christ? What if they end up going to hell because you missed an opportunity to help them, to share God with them?
Ask God today who in your community, who around you, that you can help. You might just be the answer to someone’s prayers.
Originally printed in 2004
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