Imagine the impact on the United States if Christians here were known – first of all — for being people of action

You could be reading these blogs and conclude: “Good! We’re doing all kinds of ministry in our city: we donate used clothes to the homeless shelter, canned goods to the food bank, we give a little bit of money to a women’s shelter, drug rehab, an afterschool program, a hospital, and to a convalescent center. Hey, we spent one Saturday working on a Habitat home.”

Many churches do give to causes that, it is thought, advance the cause of Christ in their communities.  Trouble is, these efforts are often so small, so diverse, and so impersonal as to have no lasting Kingdom influence on the people they intend to serve.

These are mere “gestures”.  And, churches make good-hearted gestures all the time.

Consider the difference when a church commits “all-in” to serve the staff and students at a local school.

Church members are on hand every day: assisting teachers, aids, and staff any way they can. They sponsor student awards, help with the booster club, and are on campus to support and encourage students’ progress in academics, citizenship, health, and teamwork.  They donate materials and supplies for every homeroom before each semester and they give themselves along with the donations to help the teachers prepare for the students’ arrival.

They are on hand to help by providing dinner when standardized tests or parent-teacher meetings keep the faculty on campus day and night.  Regularly, they honor the teachers who they observe investing so devotedly in their students.  And, members of these churches are regularly in prayer for the health, safety, and well being of the students, faculty, and their families.

This is “committed action”.

These actions are so regular, so costly, so focused, and so personal that the recipients of their service cannot mistake the generosity, the selflessness, and the love they are experiencing.

Ministry like this can take months or years to develop.

Commonly, those we intend to serve will be cautious, even skeptical that somehow they’re being duped—that there’s going to be a “hook”, a “gotcha” where the church people reveal their true, self-serving motives.

When our motivation is only to serve and love and bless the recipients, for their benefit, over time the barriers dissolve.

And when they do, we will be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have [I Pt 3:15] and the love we so generously give.

Coaching Distinctions #16