Outreach In The Age of CV-19
This may be a time of world crisis, yet for those who have “ears to hear,” we have reason to rejoice in the open doors of opportunity to bring God’s love in practical ways. When we meet an outward shortage of any sort in life, we have easier access to hearts as we bring the kindness of God in practical ways.
I’ve seen pieces in the media of neighbors going out of their way to show compassion and kindness to one another. Below is a list of a few outreach projects that are highly doable, creative and unique to the world of servant evangelism.
Keep in mind that there is no need to be overly aggressive in this or any outreach projects. In your enthusiasm, remember we are watering plants, not forcing rose buds open before they are ready. To do that is to kill the amazing flower God is already developing.
Here are a few projects to try. Don’t forget — these projects are simple enough that you can do them by yourself.
Mobile dog washing.
Sometimes the easiest entry point to the human heart is by showing kindness indirectly to something or someone they love. For many a pet is every bit a part of the family as the human ones.
Go door to door with basic equipment: Buckets, a hose, shampoo, and a few towels. Keep Fido on
Post It notes on neighbors’ doors to offer help.
Offer to do what you can to help them survive and thrive. Even if they don’t come to the door a Post It will stick to their door or car window to see later.
Clear acrylic bird feeders for the outside of windows.
You can almost bring cool looking birds inside. Once you get an initial bird or two you will have plenty to feed.
These bird feeders cost less than $5 and attach to an outside window with built-in suction cups. I’ve found that older folks who are confined indoors especially appreciate these.
This is not necessarily a one-time outreach. Fill it with bird see initially, then return now and then with more birdseed which can be purchased for cheap at any feed store.
Wash cars door to door.
Similar to washing pets door to door but instead care for their car. In light of concern over germs on the surface of objects, clean only the outside of the car. Drying cars after a wash is great of course, but if you are unable simply dry off or squeegee the windows.
Pray blessing upon people
Prayer works exactly as effectively at a six-foot distance as it does when you hold someone’s hands.
Here too I recommend a simple prayer of blessing. With your offer tell them how long your prayer will last. “May I pray a blessing on your life? It’ll take less than ten seconds.” People are more likely to let you pray if you promise to keep it short and to the point. Jesus is our model here. When he prayed in public his were shorter than ten seconds.
“I bless you / this family in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Lord let your peace rest here. Bring your comfort and your presence I pray, in Jesus’ Name.”
Leave Post It notes on neighbors’ doors to let them know you are praying blessing on their lives.
Sometimes it seems more appropriate to write something down than to express it verbally. A note requires less risk to both the giver and receiver. Perhaps an encouraging, inspiring and very short Bible verse will come to you to share.
Retail — clean fingerprints from glass doors.
Stores might be closed but you can go store to store and leave a Post It note to clarify your outreach to employees when they return to work.
Hospital personnel — wash windshields for nurses and doctors as they come and go.
Clear this one with the parking lot attendant of the hospital. If you wash an unattended vehicle use discretion about which cars to wash and which to leave alone. The owners of some high-end cars might not want you to touch their pricey investment. Leave a note or card with your group’s basic information and mention of washing the windows.
Drink coupons to retail workers.
Some of the unsung heroes of this crisis are on the frontlines of the crisis and though it’s dangerous, they show up for work each day. — give workers gift cards to Starbucks — $5 will get them most drinks.
- Mail carriers
- Post office
- Fast Food / carry out workers
- Library personnel
Gas stations — pump gas for customers so they don’t need to get their hands dirty. Requires gloves, disposable or otherwise.
Finally, when the dust settles, purchase individually wrapped rolls of toilet paper.
When this crisis lightens up, the reserves of double-ply paper will be available on Amazon for about $.25 per roll in bulk.
Here’s what I usually say to people with this project:
“Have you gotten your free Christian toilet paper?”
“What makes it “Christian” toilet paper?
“It’s Christian because Christians are giving it away to show God’s love in a practical way.”