The human needs around the world are staggering. Whether we focus in on local, national or international issues, there just seems to be so much that needs to be done. Even if we only looked at the issue of water, from clean water for communities in Africa to water for the local homeless in a city in the U.S., it quickly becomes obvious that the needs are great. How can I help and have any impact? Whatever I do seems to be just a drop in the bucket. So is it even worth it?
Just 1 in 4 helps someoneResearcher George Barna writes in his book Revolution, that in a "typical week, only one out of every four believers will allocate some time to serving other people" (Revolution, page 34). Most of that goes to volunteering in local churches. According to Barna, "little effort is invested in serving needy people outside the congregation." That's sad! He goes on to state that a very small percentage of people interact with the poor or disadvantaged in their communities. The typical Christian prefers to give money to an organization to facilitate good deeds in society rather than personally being involved in alleviating the needs of people.
That just won't do! We are the church. Jesus sent us to go tell the good news and be his hands and feet. It takes the whole church. It takes all of us - each doing our part, whether that's a little or a lot. That's one of the reasons we started Semper Vita - to serve more people together!
We need to change and get busy
However, if only one in four is actively helping people in need most of us are underemployed in God's Kingdom. Changes need to be made. We have to reevaluate our perspective. Being uninvolved and donating a little bit of money does not fulfill Jesus' mandate to his followers! Barna states that growth in our character and our Christian behavior only happens if we change our routines and approach to life. He continues, "God did not send Jesus to die so we might be comfortable and complacent, but so we might die to self, pick up our cross, and follow the way of the Master" (Revolution, page 41). Exactly!
We need to get busy - not just giving money or serving a few hours a year. We need to get busy doing what God designed us to do. He is always at work in people's lives and he invites us to join him. How do we do that? Well it helps to know who we are - more on that on Friday. For now, I just want to challenge you to think about the fact that only 25% does a little bit for someone else in a typical week. Are you in that 25%? If so, how are you helping out? If not, what keeps you from serving someone else?