Not everyone is called to go out and preach the gospel. Not everyone is called to go across the world with church mission trips or volunteer with students. Not everyone is called to preach on stage on Sunday morning.
I grew up hearing about missionaries going across borders and winning people over for Christ. I heard stories about being bold; going out and spreading the Gospel with every person you meet. I always thought that if you weren’t actively “recruiting” for Jesus, you weren’t doing your part.
Being an introvert, this terrified me. I began to accept the fact that I was never going to be a person that fights for the kingdom. I was never going to bring someone to the Lord. I felt useless.
At some point in the years between when I felt like a useless 16-year-old boy and the man I have become today, I started realizing that I was focused on a very narrow view of God’s desire for us to love one another. I was slowly realizing that I could use the gifts and abilities that God gave me to spread the love of Jesus.
Do you remember the 100+ mph winds that tore down fences across Colorado Springs earlier this year? Those winds gave me the push I needed to figure out a way to bless others using my gifts. The Saturday after those winds hit, a few of my good friends and I overloaded my truck with fence posts, pickets and bags of cement. We ended up doing fence clean up rather than fence construction that day. We didn’t get as much done as we had hoped – but something BIG happened inside of me.
On the way home, we got to talking about how great it would be if we could do things like thison a more regular basis – there are a lot of people who could use some help and we are capable of helping them. That was it! I don’t need to walk around preaching the Gospel – I can take advantage of the unique way God has created me to reach people for Him.
It’s that simple. All I have to do is love my neighbor. Be willing to set some time aside to use my gifts and abilities to be the hands and feet of Christ.
So, I started the Love Your Neighbor program. I couldn’t believe how many people stepped up to volunteer their time and use the gifts God has blessed them with. So many people have a heart like mine and were looking for a way to reach people.
Since we started, our Love Your Neighbor team has worked on many projects. We have filled roll-off dumpsters with fence pieces, built a deck, replaced swamp cooler parts, helped someone new to the area move into an apartment, repaired more fence, built a wheelchair ramp, and delivered and built bunk beds while teaming up with the CarePortal ministry.
You may be reading this and feel like I did when I was younger – like you can’t do any of these things. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you shouldn’t be swinging a hammer or running a circular saw. But, you know what? That’s OK!
God has given you gifts and abilities that you can use to love your neighbor.
You don’t have to fit into any specific mold to spread the love of Jesus – you simply have to love your neighbor any way you know how.
Everything you do is part of a bigger story. Be passionate and intentional about how you love and write your part of the story well.
Are you interested in volunteering with the Love Your Neighbor team? Or do you know someone who needs help? Contact Luke. You can also like the Love Your Neighbor Facebook page to hear the stories and see photos of projects.