Keith West, Founder & President
Times of extended isolation have a tendency to insulate us from practical needs in the lives of others in our churches and social communities. Isolation can cause discouragement and a sense of helplessness in our attempts to love and serve others. However, isolation can also be a catalyst for inspiration in the hearts of those who follow Jesus Christ. What we need is some creative thinking and practical ideas to help us engage in ministry in times of extended isolation. The following suggestions are just a sampling of ideas to encourage your own creativity and ministry engagement.
Ministry of Reconciliation - Offer and receive forgiveness. This courageous act of obedience brings freedom and peace in our personal relationships and encourages deeper intimacy with Christ as strongholds of resentment and bitterness are dismantled.
Ministry of Encouragement - order a meal to be delivered to a family or friend to give them a night off from cooking. Ask God to place someone on your heart who needs encouragement and reach out with a card, personal note, or phone call. Share a passage of scripture that gives you hope in your own times of discouragement.
Ministry of Hospitality- Surprise a new neighbor with a gift card to a home improvement store or local restaurant. It’s the thought that counts. Even a small amount helps when you’re moving into a new place.
Contact someone in your church directory or a fellow employee whom you have never gotten to know and introduce yourself.
Ministry of Prayer- If your church has a membership directory, pray for someone every day. Schedule a weekly prayer time with your small group or social network to pray for specific prayer requests. Pray for all the ministries that your church supports. Pray for your co-workers, neighbors, health care workers, and school teachers in your community. Pray for peace and reconciliation in our world. Pray for healing for those who are sick.
Ministry of Service- Find an elderly neighbor or a single parent in your church or community who needs assistance with lawn care or home repairs. Organize your small group at church or your co-workers to gather approved food items for a local food bank. Consider donating blood to assist local hospitals who are ministering to the sick.
These are just a sampling of the practical ministries that can be carried out in times of physical isolation. They can meet practical needs and can deepen relationships. Ultimately, they communicate the love and kindness of God to people in need of hope, friendship, and encouragement. Remember that a simple act of mercy and kindness done in Christ’s name can make an eternal difference in someone’s life. In times of extended isolation, WE STILL SERVE!