Compiled by Leslie Durham, International Women’s Ministries Staff
Evangelism; the very word can lead a grown man or woman to fear. Perhaps you have visions of going door-to-door when you were a child. Feelings of fear and rejection may be the first thought when evangelism is mentioned. Yet, Jesus called all of us to go into the world and share the gospel. We are called to love the world and tell them about Jesus. Servant evangelism is a tool that is effective in helping everyday Christians evangelize their community or neighborhood in a practical way. It is kindness in action.
Many churches have become a come-and-see church, rather than a go-and-tell church. The world will more than likely not come to us, we must go to them. Servant evangelism is a very low-risk and high-grace method of sharing the love of Christ. An individual or group can participate. A small gesture or gift is given and then a "connect card” telling about the gesture/gift and information for more assistance if necessary. (See example.)
Take a look at the many servant evangelism ideas below. Pick one out for yourself or your church and give it a try. For more information on servant evangelism, check out the following Web sites: www.servantevangelism.com ; www.stevesjogren.com.
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
- Vacuum out patrons’ cars at an automatic car wash. (Remember to take quarters with you.)
- Get the kids and sponsor a free dog wash in your neighborhood!
- Do the neighbors’ yard work; plant flowers, mow grass, trim shrubs.
- Take your neighbor’s trash to the curb and bring the can back afterwards.
- Wash windshields for coworkers during your lunch hour.
- Super-size meals for the next several patrons at a fast food place. Leave a card with a restaurant worker or share the good news yourself.
- Fill a cooler with water or sports drinks and pass them out during a community garage sale or event.
- Send a pizza to a neighbor.
- Take someone or a family out for ice cream.
- Bring a small gift basket of fruit and goodies to a neighbor who needs a boost.
- Buy multi-packs of chewing gum, breath mints, or Jelly Belly’s at a discount store or warehouse club, then pass out the individual packs as you see people during the week who look like they need a smile.
NON-FOOD GIVE AWAYS
- Share doggie treats with shoppers’ pets at a local pet store.
- Give away sports drinks at a sporting event that doesn’t have a concession stand (t-ball, soccer, etc.).
- Surprise neighbors who don’t usually get the paper with a free one.
- Give a pack of diapers to a new parent.
- Buy down the price of gasoline for the person beside you at the pump.
- Tip your server in a BIG WAY (30% or more) and ask if there is anything you can pray with them about.
- Buy some small good-smelling bottles of lotion and give them out at a local nursing home.
- Buy a bouquet of flowers or potted plant at the grocery store and give it away.
- Send a bouquet of flowers to an out-of-town friend or person at work with a love note from God (and you!). Give squirt guns or bubbles for a family with little kids.
- Give away water bottles and/or granola bars at a bus stop.
- Make a couple sheets of return address labels for a single parent you know.
- Take quarters and some "connect cards” (see above) to a local laundromat. Consider offering your company to get to know the people you’re serving . . . it’s boring to just wait for the clothes to dry!
THE GIFT OF TIME
- Visit a local nursing home or senior apartment complex and offer a small gesture of kindness (homemade art from the kids, hand lotion, tissues, flowers) and a listening ear. Bring the kids!
- Write a handwritten note to someone you haven’t seen in a while and tell them something you appreciate about them.
- Pick a local ministry near you and volunteer to pitch in.
- Identify someone to take to lunch and just listen (and pick up the bill).
- Contact someone who has done something significant in your life and thank them.
- Give up an hour of your favorite TV show to serve someone instead.
- Pray for your neighborhood. Walk around your neighborhood, silently praying God’s blessing for the people who live in the houses you pass.
- Compliment five people on a character quality you see in them this week.