Cherrydale Baptist Church
Saturday, December 07, 2013
To love God and people above all else
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:16
Below is an overview of Cherydale’s commitment to bless our communities by being outreach-focused:
Who: Small groups are the primary venue in which we seek to be involved in community service. Our hope is that every member at Cherrydale will be committed to a small group, and every small group will be regularly involved in community service.
What: Servant Evangelism. Following the example of Jesus, we strive to be involved in both acts of compassion that demonstrate the love of God and also to proclaim verbally the good news of the gospel. Both of these elements, true acts of service in love and humility, and the bold proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ need to be present for servant evangelism to be effective. Servant evangelism also implies activities that are relational in nature, that is, service that creates avenues for interaction with people, not service that is solely administrative or electronic in nature.
Where: Ideally, small groups are encouraged to be involved in servant evangelism in the community in which they meet. Cherrydale has small groups that meet throughout Northern Virginia, as well as in parts of D.C. and Maryland. Engaging in servant evangelism in all of the communities in which our small groups meet expands the reach of our church body enabling us to share the love of Christ with others where we live.
When: Small groups are encouraged to be involved in servant evangelism once a month. This service would be in place of (not in addition to) the small group meeting that week and can be done at the time that the small group would normally meet, or another time that would better suit the service activity being performed.
Why: There are many reasons to be involved in community service that are rooted in Scripture: to be light and salt to the lost around us (Matt. 5:13-15), to be the witnesses we have been commanded to be (Acts 1:8), and to be involved in making disciples of all peoples (Matt. 28:19), for example. Practically speaking, involvement in regular service helps small groups to overcome the natural tendency to be inward-focused thus leading to greater spiritual health and vitality and it also provides a natural venue to see the ways God has gifted each member in the group as they work together serving others.
How: Getting started is the challenge! Once small groups get involved in regularly serving together they find that it becomes an important part of growing in their faith. To help you get over that initial question of “how do we get started,” here are some contexts in which Cherrydale small groups have performed community service:
These are just a few examples of the kinds of places your small group could look for in your community as a place to serve.
If your small group in having difficulty finding a community service opportunity where you can serve on a regular basis near where you meet, or if you would like additional ways to be involved in community service, consider some of these seasonal opportunities to be involved in servant evangelism:
For all these activities, have flyers available to handout and be ready to talk to those who stop to inquire about why you are doing this service. Be ready to share something like, “God’s love and salvation through Jesus is totally free, so this gift of service is totally free as well.”
There is no limit to the creativity that a Small Group can use to reach out to their communities through Servant Evangelism. The examples above are intended to start the creative juices flowing. We encourage each Small Group to devote time to praying on a regular basis for God to give you wisdom and insight on ways that would be best to reach your community.