One of the things we're going to be doing as a church is taking one Sunday out of the month and going out in to the community with random acts of kindness and radical acts of service. There are many reason we are doing this. I'm going to take the next few blogs to talk about what has lead us to this decision.
Reason 1) Many Christians have almost no depth of contact with non-christians. Serving brings us back into contact with those outside of our faith.
Reason 2) Servants focus on others. That's what a servant does, their place is to look to the needs of those they serve. So for a Christ follower serving redirects our focus to what God is focused on-those sheep who are not yet in the fold.
Probably the first thing that God used to lead me into a new understanding of serving others was the book The Church of Irresistable Influence by Robert Lewis. I first read this book about several years ago while I was on staff at a church in Oklahoma. Lewis' premise in the book is that the church has become an island with its own customs and traditions that those outside don't understand. These differences become a barrier to people understanding the good news of God's love. So serving the community becomes a "bridge" that covers the distance to a world from which we have become isolated. The book changed the way I viewed the church. It helped me recognize both the churches lack of contact with those far from God, and our lack of focus on those far from God.