Ever known a mean Christian? Ever met someone walking out of a church that was rude and demanding? I’ve known many (might have been one myself on some days). Just like anyone else, we have bad days. Now, that is no excuse for such behavior. I’ll be the first to admit that. But the reason is that we are just so blasted human! But we are to try to rise above that. Why? Because how is anyone supposed to see Christ in us when we refuse to let Him shine? Unfortunately, many only see Christians as judgmental hypocrites that just want to be right. But like many groups, the ones that do not reflect the true core teachings are the ones that give the world the image they see. Christ taught love and sacrifice. But over the years those characteristics started to get pushed under the rug. Servant Evangelism gives Christians the chance to bring them back as the cornerstone of life.
Churches have forgotten many of Christ’s messages and examples. Being a humble servant is one that has had dramatic consequences. Jesus performed the “low” job of washing the dirty feet of His followers as they sat down to eat. He brought others’ needs before His own and showed His love for them through these various acts.
Through servant evangelism a Christian performs acts of servanthood (or surprising acts of kindness) to others including complete strangers to show them how much they are loved and the true image of Christ. Through servant evangelism the hope is to show others the loving side of Jesus and possibly strike up a conversation about where they stand spiritually.
I think that the best way to describe servant evangelism is to go right into some examples and talk about the effects they have. Keep in mind that these are just a few of the millions of ideas that can be implemented.
· Smoke Alarm Batteries – During daylight savings when the fire department is reminding everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarms, go by homes and drop off batteries with a note attached telling them your church or organizations name and other pertinent information.
· Trash can return – After the trash man has made his weekly visit, don’t just bring your back up to the house to its proper place. Bring up your neighbor’s or a stranger’s. Save them a walk to the curb.
· Doggie Cleanup – This is true servanthood. Volunteer to clean up the “little gifts” their dog has left in their yard. No one wants to do this job. They’ll be thankful and curious.
· Flower Seeds – Around Easter/springtime hand out free packets of flower seeds as a way to welcome the new season.
· Water Bottle Giveaway – At an outdoor event with hot weather hand out free water bottles to quench everyone’s thirst.
· Public toilet cleaning – This one is another true servant’s act. Volunteer to clean the toilet of a local bar, gas station, or restaurant. It really gets people’s attention and brings some humility to your own life
If you are near a college campus, volunteer to help the students move or clean up their dorms. Live where there are a lot of fishermen? Give away free bait at the boat landing or offer free pictures of their catch. The whole purpose of this is to help someone where they need it and where they rarely get it. It can be as simple as paying for the coffee for the person behind you as you pay for yours and not even tell them (let the clerk surprise them) to the more physically demanding job of cleaning out someone’s garage. It brings the person who is performing the act to a healthy encounter of humility and therefore closer to God while the recipient is blessed by being served and maybe even wanting to know the person better. Most churches do these as a way to reach those that are unchurched. But I found that I enjoy doing some of these just to remind myself that it is not supposed to be about me.
How can you reach out to others today? How about handing a free coffee to the stressed out store clerk? How about taking in the carts from the parking lot when it is raining so the guys in the store don’t have to? Show others that you care. Take a few moments out of your busy schedule and notice the needs of others.