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Service

Articles about helping those in need and outreaching to them.

The Importance of Work, Life and Balance

I wanted to share a good blog post and reminder from The High Calling on the Importance of Work, Life and Balance.

Article

Categories: Life balance, Ministry Impact, Service Tags:

Mercy Ministy - Why We Do It

Mercy ministry can be hard... and rewarding. Ligonier Ministries posted an excellent article on the challenges and blessings of mercy ministry with scriptural support. Being involved in home repairs ministry, I am encouraged to see a specific callout for carpentry as a potential avenue for mercy ministry. Enjoy the article and be blessed.

Mercy Ministry by Elliott Grudem

Categories: Devotionals, Mercy, Service Tags:

Why Start a Home Repair Ministry

Five reasons why your church should be involved in home repairs ministry.



Click the image to watch a short video.

How to start your service day off right

Team PrayerSo you have it all planned out, got the materials on site, tools in the trucks, enough people that you don’t make anyone’s wife mad for too many hours away from home and they & the homeowner have signed the liability waivers. How do you start the day?

I usually explain why we’re needed, intro the owner if appropriate (or do that later in the day), thank the volunteers and do a devotion before we pray. What do we pray for? How about the owner and the pile of needs that brought her to need you, often for healing of a physical or spiritual nature, for volunteer’s skill, wisdom, safety & good progress, for God’s blessing the household.

Now back up. What are you going to use for a devotion? You’re not a preacher or something like that. You have deed gifts, not Word gifts, right? Well, I have a long list of “mercy” passages from the New and Old Testaments compiled, from which you could work from. I’d be glad to pass these along if you email me and indicate your interest. How about a few now?

  • Romans 12 begins with presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God and is your spiritual worship. Worshipping through service with tools and offering the Lord more of us: our bodies for the project. The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off of the altar. Today, we’re crawling onto the altar to serve, IF we’re doing it because Jesus loved us first and giving Him our day.
  • Romans 12:4 talks about one body and many parts with different functions. We’re here today to operate as the part of the body with some handy skills (or wanting to learn some. . . ), being used as the hands and feet of Jesus. The Body metaphor can be applied to your team, within an individual church, among many churches, or meaning all of the Jesus followers on Planet Earth, today.
  • Deuteronomy 15 - Sabbath year – doing things to relieve the hurt of those in debt – mercy ministry to the needy. Who owes us that we can forgive in order to provide them a fresh start? Our time to them makes them owe us time if you want to think of it that way, but we don’t keep records on how many hours we’ve spent helping a given family. The principle is: God’s heart cares for the hurting and we need to do something about it when possible. Note: the land and all of the people were to take one year off out of seven, away from the day-to-day plowing, sowing, tending, harvesting, etc. The promise is that if Israel would do their part in forgiving debts, God would provide the food needed for the Sabbath Year (through the abundance of fallow-year crops) and the year following that until crops were to be harvested. Do you trust Him that much?
  • James 1: 27-28 - How religious living should look if rooted in Jesus Christ. It's called Mercy Ministry – caring from those with financial problems, the disenfranchised, widows (single mothers?) and orphans (foster children?). There are plenty of vulnerable, hurting people to pick from. We just need to make sure we’re picking some.
  • Leviticus 19: 9 & 10 – The gleanings and edges of your fields. What is your field in our urban society? What will you leave out for others to use? Or which are you going to invest in God’s Kingdom as we care for those in need?
  • 2 Corinthians 8 – example of the Macedonians, who were in need themselves, making financial gifts to the Church in Jerusalem which was under persecution. How much more, we, who have some margin in our lives, to help those who need a hand.
  • 2 Corinthians 9 – more from the previous chapter (above) including sowing & reaping, God's abounding in our service (verse 8), and culminating in the people being served giving glory to God in verse 13.
  • Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. Fun to contrast this to Matthew 6:1-4 and talk about motives – Look at me? I hope God will like me more if I sweat a lot today? How about, “God, I give you my time today because you have reconciled me to you, made peace with me through the blood of Jesus, and for that I serve as a thank you."
  • The Great Commandment . . . and love your neighbor as yourself. What does that look like? Assuming that we know that we cannot love God apart from a heart changed by His grace through the indwelling Holy Spirit, then today we can demonstrate his love for others, too! We’re giving our neighbor a hug from Jesus if He’s in us.
  • Leviticus 19: 9 & 10 – God asked His people not to reap to the edges of their fields so that those in need would have provision. If you don’t have a field, what would be your field in today’s economy? What will you leave or provide for people in need? Your time, like your money, should be an offering to God. If you’re a tool person, my guess is that it is time to pick them up. How about using them today, because Jesus gave his All for you.

  • Use God’s Word as you lead those working in God’s vineyard.

Where Do You Find Projects

There are lots of avenues leading to service for handy tool people. Here are a few:

  • People recently disabled need their homes retrofitted for wheel chairs and accessibility – widened doorways, ramps, removal of barriers, trip hazards, etc. People who are sick, elderly or otherwise unable to make needed changes.
  • Is there a widow in your neighborhood whose yard has gotten away from her? Major yard cleanups are great to get the young people out with the adults.
  • We generally say “for homeowners” but this is not an absolute. Repairing properties for landlords has proven to be a bad practice, but how about damage to a rental home by foster children that the foster parent is responsible to cover? How about foster parents in general, especially those taking in teens!
  • Single mothers struggling to make ends meet often cannot hire a handyman to make repairs, but we happen to know someone . . . How about those heroic people coming back from the middle east with war injuries?
  • The food pantry ministry may need some new permanent shelving but gave the cash reserves to hungry families fighting unemployment. How about your buddies with tool skills? Nearly anyone can build shelves.
  • Always popular are grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Don’t forget to pray with the people you help or even those with projects outside of your abilities. Follow up to show that you care as Christ cares for you.
  • James 1:27 & 28 points us to a properly lived faith life – helping those that cannot help themselves – start with widows and orphans and go from there.

Coming soon – how do we fund material purchases?

Categories: Accessibility, Finding Projects, Service Tags:

Why repair other's homes?

Simple: Some people can't repair their own home for a variety of reasons, often due to physical/age limitations. If we don't help, who will? Do you see people lined up to help?

We serve with tools because we approach life from this perspective: God loved us so much that He sent His one and only son to buy us out of confinement with the currency of blood, so He has our full attention. He offers the blood of His son as a payment for our rebellion against His authority when we put our full and complete trust in that amazing payment, by faith. Would you allow the murder of your son for the likes of me? Then He tells us to love Him first and foremost, but also love our neighbor as much as ourselves, sort of like Christ did for us on the cross.

That's why we fix homes. Not because we want God to like us, but because He likes us enough to make the ultimate sacrifice to redeem us from the curse of sin. So, having His promise of eternal life, from now on, we live to tell Him thanks. "When you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to Me." He says in Matthew 25.

Give me another handful of nails, would you?

Harvey

Categories: Devotionals, Service Tags:

What's In Your toolbelt?

I was on a project the other day and some of the guys had the nicest tools money could buy. Those of us who can afford the really good stuff can put it to good use once the basement is finished out. Thanks to all the amateurs learning how best to use good tools for great purposes - helping someone who really needs a hand. All it takes is time. Can you spare a little of that? How about taking your son with you to serve or a single mother's son that needs a tool guy to look up to?

Categories: Service, Volunteers Tags: