Start by taking a close look at your community.
If this is the beginning place for you, take a careful look at your community.
What’s going on? Where do people meet? What do people do? How can we serve and love in practical ways? Is there a special event where we can serve? What are the felt needs of the community? Where should we go? What can we do? When can you do, what you want to do? How do you accomplish what you want to do? Think: Where can we go to offer acts of kindness which will meet a need and encourage people.
I have a friend who has a church located near the beach in his community. They decided to serve and show kindness to the beach community by giving away small packs of sunscreen and bottles of water to the people walking toward the beach at the entrances of the boardwalks. People were grateful. Their kindness generated conversation. People asked questions and a felt need was met.
How often should we reach out?
It really depends upon what you want to accomplish and how many people you want to reach. Some churches go out weekly, monthly or quarterly. Some large movement churches plan a weekend, or a week of kindness once a year.
Our church is a large African American Church, Phillips Temple in Trotwood OH. It is located a newer building in a depressed area next to all the public schools. Our outreach is usually once a month on a Saturday. Our goal is for our people to develop serving others with kindness as a lifestyle. Therefore we have a yearly kindness calendar coordinated with the church calendar.
People in our community like to sleep in on Saturday’s so we decided to meet at 10:30 am and go out into the community at 11 am.
We asked, “What do people not like to do on Saturday?” Wash clothes and wash cars.
One team go to the laundromat with quarters and washing pods. We pay for the washing and drying and help fold clothes. At the Laundromat, we introduce ourselves. “Hi! I’m here to help you today? Here are some quarters and laundry pods.” People usually ask why we are doing this. We reply, “We are showing you God’s love in a practical way.” Conversations usually continue as we hang out, help fold clothes, love people and offer prayer. Prayer is often the connection point that connects the act of kindness to the heart.
The same is true for the car wash. “Hi! We are here to pay for your car wash. We have towels to help dry your car.” Conversations usually flow from the connection of service.