Over the weekend, we’ve seen images of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in communities across Texas. Our hearts break for those in the pathway of storms and extensive flooding. And if you are anything like me, you want to do SOMETHING.
One key essential of young adult ministry is responsibility. Young adults desire to be a part of something that is a making a significant impact in the world. As leaders, we can miss out on a key component of young adult ministry if we do not provide ways for them to be a part of something like that.
Whether your group is planning to help in coming weeks with the Texas disaster or you have other opportunities to serve, here are some things to remember:
1. We help others not simply to do good, but as a response to who we are in Jesus.
There are many opportunities to help others and do good. In fact, many people do good things. However, as followers of Christ our response to events of devastation and disaster is a result of who we are in Christ. We desire to help others because of the grace and mercy that we have found in Jesus. We help others because it’s who we are. Doing good does not earn us any extra merit or favor, but it does give us opportunity to point others toward the goodness of Jesus.
The Scriptures remind us in Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.”
2. Commit to provide opportunities for young adults to serve together.
It may take some effort on your part as the leader to get projects together on a regular basis. Ideally, there will be someone in your group who will develop the leadership skills to take over the coordination and voice of this aspect of your group’s ministry.
Are there school tutoring programs that need volunteers? Are there assisted care facilities that you could visit and provide help with residents? Are there organizations in your community that could use the help of a group of young adults? You understand and know your community. In what ways could your young adult ministry bring value to organizations that depend solely on the help of volunteers?
Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works…”
3. Serving together gives us a greater perspective of what God is doing through his church.
Often we find ourselves in our bubble and forget to look outside of our own immediate world. However, serving within and outside our community gives us a perspective that we simply cannot produce through teaching a small group Bible study or watching a video. Young adults gain a wider world perspective when there is an “others” mentality within the group. The opportunity to point others toward the Gospel is even more widespread because young adults are looking through the lens of life with that “others” mentality.
Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of the massive restoration efforts that will take place in Texas over the next few weeks. If you are interested in helping with the Texas floods, check out the North American Mission Board’s Hurricane Harvey Response Page for details on how your group can become involved.
Mark Whitt is a collegiate minister with Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Connect with Mark via Twitter.