Pastor Ron E. Thompson: What Can I Do, Lord?
Although Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace through faith and not works, nevertheless we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”(Eph. 2:8-10 NLT). Faith without works is dead (James 2:20 NKJV). We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12 NKJV). After the apostle Paul’s conversion, He said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6 NKLV). We are to be salt and light, doers of the Word, not just hearers only (James 1:2 NKJV). Our reward in Heaven will not be for the quantity of our service, but the quality!
A depressed, discouraged man quietly entered a pastor’s study and said, “I’m feeling a little at loose ends, and would like employment or some place of service around the church that could give me a sense of being wanted and accomplishing something.” The pastor replied, “There are no openings at present, but I’ll keep you in mind and help you all I can.” The man stood, thanked the pastor, went home, and hanged himself. Sorrowfully the pastor thought about this quiet man who wanted a place where he could do something.
It is amazing the number of people who think there is nothing they can do in church since they are not an officer, teacher, or a musician. Have you been thinking about ways you could serve God beyond faithful attendance and giving? Well, I have some ideas for you today! Using your Holy Spirit creativity, this list could be extended beyond number!
- Read to someone with bad eyesight or blind. Not everyone reads Braille. There are agencies that can help you contact individuals.
- Visit a shut-in and take a bulletin or tract or even read to them. Apart from any health quarantines, there are multitudes of peop1e who would welcome a visit.
- Take someone needing transportation to a store, doctor, or even church. Relatives work and may not always be available.
- Visit someone who is bereaved. Visiting at a funeral home or sending flowers is important, but days and weeks later they could use some fellowship and prayer.
- Inviting someone home or to a restaurant for dinner is an effective way to bring a visitor or new member to church.
- Mow the lawn for an older person. In a church I pastored, the teens did it. This cements a love and understanding that no sermon could accomplish.
- Take a dish of food to someone who is ill. We do that for those who are bereaving, but sick people must eat also and may not feel like cooking.
- Use the mail. Send a birthday, anniversary, or thinking of you card to someone who is in a hospital or rest home. Mail a gift or literature to someone in the military, in college or a Winter Visitor.
- Ask a teacher if you can help in a Sunday School class or offer to serve refreshments on Sunday.
- Help clean house for someone who is ill.
- Give some used clothing to the Salvation army or rescue mission.
- Use your hobby or talent. Young people and children might appreciate learning how to sew, paint, ceramics, collect coins or stamps, or just visit your shop.
- Using the directory or yearbook, telephone absentees and let them know they were missed.
- Invite a missionary to your home for a meal and lodging. This worked well when I was a pastor in Arizona.
- Find a boy who has no father and take him to a ball game. Big Brothers and other organizations can assist in this.
- Share flowers, fruit, or vegetables from your garden with a shut-in or a newcomer just moving into the neighborhood.
- Offer to baby-sit for a mother to visit her physician.
- Have a foreign student in your home over a holiday or weekend.
- Invite a family from church over for an evening of fun and fellowship. This builds friendship bridges for ministry to one another.
- Smile and warmly greet visitors. One lady at a mission and said, “I smile them in, and I smile them out.”
- Volunteer in your community. The Meals on Wheels people need drivers, homeless shelters need helpers, and elementary schools need volunteers.
- Distribute brochures and literature to newcomers moving into your ministry area. My wife and I did this often.
- Use visible symbols: T-shirts, hats, book covers, and Scripture checks can express your faith to others.
- Have your church consider a block party in its surrounding neighborhood. It is an effective way to establish friendly relationships.
- Pray for your pastor, teachers, and fellow members, something we all can and should be doing.
Did you say this is not a Bible-centered lesson? Jesus said: “I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40 GW). What are you doing for Christ?