I spoke at the annual conference for a denomination not long ago in a medium sized Texas town. The next week I got an email from an attender stating that they wanted to serve but there weren’t any opportunities in their small town to do so. No homeless, few non-profits, no where to start… and he asked for help.
So I went to my computer, Google searched the phrase “non-profits” in their town, and literally 10 pages of opportunities popped up. I just sent him the URL and suggested he start there.
We’re learning… now have to SEEK out need. And it’s not really that hard. It’s just that we’ve trained our eyes to not look for it. Try different terms to search online: Cause Groups, Benefit, fund raiser, etc… and be sure to add the name of your town or city.
Open your eyes to see in unlikely places. I grew up in a small town and at every gas station was a jar with a picture on it of a kid or family in need from the community. Why not do a little research, help the family in need, and rally others to do the same.
Talk to your principal or counselor at school. We live in a middle-class school district, but we found out there were 35 seniors graduating last year that were considered homeless and needed assistance in different ways transitioning between graduation and work or college (I wrote about it HERE).
We have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to need. We assume because we don’t see the homeless on every corner of our time like we see in big cities, that most are okay where you live. That’s not true. In fact, did you know that the suburban and rural poor now outnumber the urban poor in America? I wrote about it HERE.
Today is your action day for the Barefoot Church Primer. Bottom line… it is CRITICAL that you do your homework. On most days it impacts only you if you skip or skim… today, you’ll impact your group. If you’re a group leader, be sure to follow up with your community to have this stuff done before your community day this week… it will be the foundation for your conversation and planning.
Take the time today. Work hard. Even if it takes a few more days.