Taking the Next Step to Serve

Taking the Next Step to Serve

An overview of small-group service projects
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I noticed, out loud, how loving and accepting she was. I affirmed her for what she was doing. She heard the women who lived in the shelter talking about their faith. She saw their struggles. Her heart was moved with compassion. She's now in our Bible study, earnestly seeking God, reading the Bible for the first time in her life. For her, the service project was an "on-ramp" into the group.

Take Time to Debrief

Ask group members to talk about what they're learning from serving. Are they feeling guilt or gratitude for their own privilege? Let them process. Then, push them to go deeper. How does their affluence isolate them, for example? How do the poor have to trust God more than the well-off? Allow the group to wrestle with the feelings and questions that come up.

Service projects, especially ongoing ones, will help your group bond, and help individual members to grow in their faith. Perhaps this is the next step your group needs to take.

—Keri Wyatt Kent is a small-group leader, speaker, and the author of seven books, including Simple Compassion (Zondervan). Learn more at www.keriwyattkent.com. Copyright 2009 by the author and Christianity Today International.

Discuss:

  1. What was my most recent experience with someone who could be considered "poor"?

  2. When would be a good time for our group to pray about serving together? What steps can I take to make that happen?

  3. Who are some people outside of our group that might like to join us in a service project?

Related

Conquering Societal Ills
How can your small group partner with community organizations?
Make a Difference in Your Community
Make a Difference in Your Community
Explore the mission God has for you.
Impacting Culture
Impacting Culture
This study will help you and your group members determine how to relate to culture.
Poverty and the Bible
Poverty and the Bible
Effectiveness and faithfulness must characterize our response.
Planning a Group Service Project
Planning a Group Service Project
This resource is full of practical tools for both group leaders and church staff.