The first Serve Week of 2018 has come and gone, and based on what we are hearing, it made a huge impact. Last week, over 100 community groups put in an excess of 2000 hours of volunteer time while serving approximately 25 local agencies throughout the Triad. Projects included tasks like: caulking a bathtub, replacing a kitchen faucet, writing letters of encouragement to expecting mothers who have little to no support system, painting the halls of an elementary school, sorting canned foods to send to hungry children and families, and feeding children who are currently in the foster care system.
The Goals of Serve Week
Serve week at Mercy Hill is an opportunity for the church to be the hands and feet of Christ. The late Billy Graham once said, “The church has the greatest reason to serve—we should be motivated by God’s acceptance of us through Jesus” which causes us to love and serve others in the Triad. Our goals for these events are threefold:
- To mobilize Community Groups to be a blessing to those who are in the trenches of community engagement on a daily basis.
- To raise awareness about opportunities to support these organizations on an ongoing basis.
- To see relationships formed that focus on sharing and growing in the gospel.
We Imitate Jesus When We Serve the Community
One of the greatest accounts in scripture of meeting people’s needs was demonstrated in Mark 8:1-9 when Jesus fed the 4,000. By this, he demonstrated one of the church’s functions. Before Jesus gave his sermon, he fed the people. They came to hear from the Messiah, and after feeding them with physical food, he then gave them spiritual food for their souls. Both their physical and spiritual needs were met.
When the church is deeply rooted in its community, and its membership is operating as public servants, the church will impact the lives of the people, and the believers will fulfill the Messiah’s mission on earth. John 12:8 records Jesus saying, “For the poor you always have with you.” The church is the solution for the brokenness within the community that it resides.
Serve Week Doesn’t Just Impact the Community
The Community Group that I attend had the awesome opportunity to serve at Hannah’s Haven, one of Mercy Hill’s closest partners. Going into the evening, I was under the impression that we were going to sing songs and have Bible study, but to my surprise, I was informed that there was some work around the house that needed to be done. For the first time in my life, I was given the task of “re-caulking” a bathtub. Even though I had no experience, and because of my pride, I failed to mention that I had no idea what I was doing. Needless to say, I made the job way more difficult for my friend and fellow Community Group member, Nate Shaw, who knew exactly what he was doing. Despite the project taking twice as long as it should have taken, there was much rich conversation between Nate and me. We talked about the gospel and its implications in a broken world as we worked to “fix” the tub. (OK, so he was really fixing my mess of an attempt to “fix” the tub.)
There can easily be a misconception that “Serve Week is for others,” but I found that it was just as beneficial for me as it was for the ladies at Hannah’s Haven. My story is just one from last week, and with over 1000 people serving, I know that there are at least 999 other stories to be told. If you desire to tangibly make an impact in the Triad with Mercy Hill, please join a Community Group. Our next opportunity to do this is at Starter Groups which begins next Wednesday (March 7th) and runs every Wednesday night that month. Click here to find out more about Starter Groups and sign up to attend.
-Will Ferguson (Ministry Resident – Community Groups / Community Ministry)