"For Those Who Are Passionate About Reaching The Younger Generation"

Youth Ministry Topics Service (Acts of Kindness)

Serving in Different Cultures

Dave Livermore

Serving prioritizes time with others to the extent that we adjust our lifestyles to express care and tangibly meet others' needs. This fourth ministry priority, consistently modeled by Jesus and the early church, is necessary for a complete environment for growth in making disciples.

Serving begins with the ministry leadership. An attitude for serving is contagious-people in our ministries will quickly discern whether we intend to serve or be served.

I have discovered that while people enjoy having fun together and being entertained, there soon comes a point where they will not grow unless we offer more. The most fun I have had with people in ministry has been when we have worked together to help other people, whether painting a widow's house, caring for the children of a single mom, working in a yard, going to a home for elderly people, serving overseas etc. There is nothing like serving together with other believers!

? Do you, as a ministry, regularly set aside time to help others in need? If so, assess those times. If not, how can you add this priority?

? Do believers freely meet needs outside the group? If so, how?

Disciplemaking Around the World

Australia: St. Martin's is healthy in this priority as well. This Melbourne congregation has built serving into its core identity. The church building was primarily built by the congregation. A team of women made all the mud bricks. Some of the people who helped were seekers. This value of serving together continues through the people as they grow together.(6)

Cambodia: A thirteen-year-old boy and the youth group he leads go from house to house in Phnum Penn asking people how they can pray for them. Often they find themselves in the ministry of healing people through the power of God, but more importantly, they find themselves with more opportunities to share Christ than they know what to do with.

Hungary: Consuming alcohol has become much more common among Hungarian youth since the revolution. Some of the Christian youth in Budapest regularly visit the pubs to find their peers. They strike up conversations and offer living water that will never leave one thirsty. Though their peers often demean them and reject the invitation to life with Jesus, the Christian youth often stay with them throughout the evening and end up escorting them home in their drunkenness.

India: A pastor at a church in Delhi has a mother who is being denied her old age pension from the tribal government where she lives. She's been told to denounce her faith if she wants to receive it. Since she is unwilling to reject Christ to meet her monetary needs, her son's church cares for her needs by regularly supplying food and other necessary items.

Kentucky: Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, with more than six thousand members, serves the community amid the urban sprawl the area is experiencing. Southland is the site for community concerts, plays, elections, aerobics classes, Spanish courses and more. If you need an appliance, furniture or some vegetables, Southland is probably the place to find it. Our ministries should be characterized as places that serve one another.

Northern Ireland: Exodus, a night club in Belfast, is not like most clubs in Europe. It is run by a group of Christians who are targeting youth using hip music and a place to hang out. Christians volunteer their time playing in the band, "bouncing," mingling with people, serving food, etc. As they serve Belfast youth, they see many follow Jesus and join nearby churches.

Thailand: A young girl was thrown out of her tribal home and village because she refused to go to Bangkok to become a prostitute to earn income for her family. Some Christ-followers she met in a neighboring village worked together to make a new home for her. They share their food, clothing, beds and modest homes with her. She now works in a hostel for tribal children, where they learn how to read and write to empower them to earn a living in ways other than prostitution, and she teaches them the Word of God.


Action Plan for Fostering Serving in Your Ministry

  • What are the highs and lows of this priority in your ministry?
  • What ideas do you have for strengthening this priority?
  • What needs to happen first?

SOURCE

This article comes from pages 115-118 of Connecting Your Journey With the Story of God: Disciplemaking in Diverse Contexts, by Dave Livermore. Copyright 2001 by Sonlife Ministries, all rights reserved. Used by permission.

Dave serves as international director of Sonlife Ministries in Elburn, Illinois.

In this book he asks the question, "If Jesus were in my shoes, with my experiences, in this community, how would he make disciples?"? It helps us to think through the process of disciplemaking, based on the life of Jesus, and helps us discover how this process applies to our own unique cultural context. Order it from Sonlife Ministries at www.sonlife.com.