Serving beyond ourselves, whether in our own city, or further afield, is one of the beautiful by-products of gospel-centred mission. In our current season, opportunities abound to serve, give and show the love of Jesus in practical ways. We caught up with a few churches, from very different contexts around the globe, on what serving beyond themselves has looked like recently for them:
If you’d like to get in touch with any of these mentioned churches or leaders, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure to connect you.
For Stone Church in Auburn, North America, serving their city looked like uniting with some other local churches, in an effort to bring renewal through maintenance, clearing and cleaning. Over a hundred people from five different churches in the area teamed up on a recent Saturday morning. In smaller groups they both prayed for and served their city – painting and repairing at a youth ministry building, and a recovery centre, served food at the local food bank and cleared trash from some main roads in the town. With coffee, team t-shirts and a readiness to get stuck in, this was an incredible experience of community in action and they’re hoping to get even more people on board in the future.
Reconciliation Road Church
Reconciliation Road in Amanzimtoti, South Africa was up close and personal with the recent unrest and looting in South Africa in mid-July. Directly across the road from their venue were two hardware stores which were badly hit by the looting. The team from RecRoad Church mobilized to assist the store owners in the clean up as well as spread out across the larger area to generally clear after the destructive looting which swept across most of their area. The task of rebuilding what was lost is greater than only cleaning the streets, but this start and service was a beautiful and powerful beginning.
Grace Generation Church
Grace Generation Church, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Similarly, the area of Pietermaritzburg suffered terrible loss and destruction after the same period of looting. The churches in the city organised clean up operations. Hundreds of volunteers as well as municipal workers came together to clear, clean and restore many area’s and buildings which were targets of the unrest. This is was an amazing moment to see the churches coming together as well as partnering with local organisations on the ground to bring about order and to begin the rebuilding process.
Southlands, Santa Ana
For Southlands Santa Ana, in North America, serving beyond themselves looked like travelling to a different nation. They recently took a team to Mexico for a three day trip to Prima Tapia. The main venue for serving was at an orphanage. There they painted walls, constructed furniture, provided meals and provided fun activities for the kids. In the local town nearby, the team supplied groceries to families in need. One of the stand out moments was being able to pray for families and individuals – sometimes from the outside of homes as many were quarantining indoors due to COVID19. One of the team members told us, “The trip was an awesome time of Jesus moving both in the people we were seeking to minister and our own team.”