My husband and I are in charge of the Neighborhood Outreach at the church we attend. There is an apartment complex caddy corner to our church. This last summer we started a weekly program for the kids in the complex. Every Thursday night we would bring balls, games, snacks and stories to share with the kids. We would play with them for an hour and end the evening with a short story or conversation to teach them about Godly character.
Throughout the summer we got to know the kids and learned about their families and their likes and dislikes. What I love about this ministry is that we are able to bring our four children with us. Every week we would load up our whole family and go and serve together.
Well, of course the apartment kids would forget what day it was and we would have to go and remind them to come out and play. Nate was the main one heading up the games, so the baby and I would go and knock on doors. It never failed that when I would tell Nate I was going to start walking around our 3 year old boy would beg me to go too. Remember, this is the boy who counts down the minutes until his dad is home and can play ball, ride bikes, pick something in the garden, etc with him. He desperately wants to spend time with his dad.
So I remind Luke that his dad is here and he can stay and play with him. And every week it about brings him to tears at the thought of not being able to go knock on doors with me. I was so confused at first: Kick a ball with dad versus knock on doors. Seems like a no brainer to me. I know I would gladly stay in my comfort zone and stay in the safety and non-confrontational field. But his dire pleas always lead to me letting him go. He would run enthusiastically to each door, knock, and excitedly wait for it to open so that he can invite his friends to come play.
It was so humbling to watch my three year old son not even have a hint of hesitation to go and reach out to someone, to anyone who wanted to know about God. He was so excited to be able to get to know them and serve them. If we saw a kid walking through the yard he would be the first to ask if he could go and invite them to come play. He challenged me to not be ashamed of invading someone’s space when we are trying to serve them and teach them about the gospel.
Who is that one person that keeps coming to mind that you know needs a word of encouragement from you? Think of Luke’s enthusiasm the next time that your spirit is nudged. “Run” up to them excited to share the good news with them!
Next week is Halloween. Does your church do an outreach? Maybe you can invite a neighbor or co-worker to bring their kids. Do you pass out candy at your house? Why not get a little tract or write a note to the kids telling them that God loves them?