Saturday, September 27, 2008

operation serve

Today our church did an event called Operation Serve. The entire purpose behind it is to just serve the community wanting nothing in return, which is a really awesome purpose by the way. We had all kinds of projects going on from remodeling houses, to block parties, to making hot dogs for people at car washes, the bottom line is we just wanted to do something nice for people.

My job was to hand out bottled waters in a Wal-mart parking lot and help people load their groceries and put away their carts. Honestly compared to some of the other projects that were going on, I had a very small and seemingly insignificant job. That being said, it was crazy some of the responses I got. Some people were very reserved and wanted absolutely nothing to do with a total stranger handing out a potentially poisoned water bottle. Other people were very open and welcomed the help.

The most significant response to me though, was the person who simply said, "why?" Like, why in the world would a total stranger just want to come and help me put up my groceries? Like don't you have anything better to do? One guy even told me, "no thanks, I don't have any money to give your church right now..."

That is so crazy to me! How ridiculous is it that people would be puzzled by a church that just wants to be nice to people? Shouldn't the concept of a church doing nice things for people be the norm rather than a confusing gesture? The church as a whole has made so called "evangelism" so impersonal and complicated. There's this thought that the only way to help the community is to go out and hand out lame tracks, read verses to people, and ask them if they know where they're going to spend eternity. All those things would be awesome if they worked, but we're dealing with people in a Wal-mart parking lot that are surprised when I offer to put up their buggie, don't you think trying to ask them about their salvation might come across EVEN MORE intimidating and confusing?

As a final thought- isn't it possible that simply doing nice things for people could change their perception of Christians, and as a result have them open their minds to the idea of giving Jesus a chance? If Christians would just focus more time on being nice couldn't we change the entire look of the Church?

Some would call that idea "liberal Christianity", and "watering down the Gospel", I think those people are missing it.

4 comments:

  1. great thoughts, it was great servig with you today.

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  2. Nate,
    Love your blog...esp. this post and the one about "darkness". Was in a church once where they wouldn't let anyone in the band unless they were "worthy"...wish they could read your story and the end result. You're doing a great job at Rossview, too! - Lori Graham

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  3. Hi young man. I happened across your blog from Twitter... Hey, you said you were only on there so people would read it! Anyway, I'm a youth pastor, and what you wrote is exactly what I've been talking about to my students! Keep it up! If more people thought like this then we could break down these horrible stereotypes of Christians! If showing people love through service is "Liberal Christianity" then I guess Jesus was liberal.
    Take care man!

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