‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)
As I have mentioned before, every Sunday School class (1st grade through adult classes) should have an ongoing mission project in the community. The project provides depth in relationships for members of the class, strengthens spiritual maturity through serving, and demonstrates the embodiment of the Matthew 25 passage to the community.
I met with Dan River Baptist Association last night for dinner and heard about the churches’ plans for Operation Inasmuch the week of September 13th. (Read the story about Operation Inasmuch at the following website: http://operationinasmuch.org/) The idea for this ministry is to involve as many church members as possible on different projects in the community where you live to show the love of Christ.
I do believe every Baptist Association in Virginia is preparing to do this ministry sometime in the Fall. I want to suggest to you that this would be a great time to encourage every class to begin some ministry in the community on a regular basis. Some of the ideas shared by churches last night may stir within you some ideas for your own. Here are some of the churches represented and their ideas:
Clover Bottom- Free Give Away Day on September 13th where there will be a free yard sale and lunch. They will be making bird feeders that week for a local nursing home and providing gift bags for the nurses and others working at the nursing home.
Beth Car- An Appreciation Lunch for the local fire department, sheriff’s department, city police and other service personnel will take place. They will have a canned food drive that week for the local food pantry (Good Samaritan) as well as working on other local projects in the community.
Ash Avenue- Will have a Laundromat ministry that Saturday by providing quarters for person to wash and dry their clothes. They are planning a free car wash, collecting canned goods for neighbors in need, cookies for Sheriff’s department and police department, providing meals for shut-ins, and helping with some household projects.
First Baptist South Boston- Will have a blood drive, free car wash and several projects in the community.
Mt. Vernon- Will have a Cancer Benefit Walk and will provide supplies/care packages for God’s Pit Crew and the local rescue squad.
Winn’s Creek- Will have an Epilepsy Awareness Walk, softball tournament and other local projects.
Hitesburg- Will do some lawn work and provide firewood ministry for a disabled man in the community, and cleaning house for a disabled woman in the community.
Scottsburg- Will make homemade cookies and take to neighbors in the community.
Mulberry- Is working on supplies for a ministry in Nigeria, and has church members helping persons in need with lawn care and providing home grown vegetables for persons in the community.
(Look at my blog, “Serving Through Sunday School” for great ideas for children and youth.)
More than ever we need to be outside the church walls and sharing the love of Christ with the community. For when you are ministering to the least in society, you also are ministering to Christ.