Creative compassion part 2: Some ideas

I recently shared on the topic of “Creative Compassion” at a National Youth Worker’s conference in Dallas. During the talk we spoke of many different things such as:

Painting walls can be creative compassion...1. The Biblical reason for showing compassion.
2. Creative ways to show compassion.
3. Resources that either include creative ideas, or that have helped me in my understanding of the subject.
I asked for creative compassion ideas via the Twitter, Facebook, and at the conference. I said I would share them via this site. They follow:

  1. Elle from Jackson, MS, mentioned that in her city, Wired Espresso Cafe (connected with Crossings Church) will often take salad/tea/cookies/coffee/etc. to secretaries who are unable to leave work for lunch. No payment is required.
  2. Jose mentioned that his church, Northside A/G, learned that teachers in their town are required to purchase their own supplies. Their church members worked to gather supplies for every teacher/administrator in the middle school. They gathered enough supplies for over 60 school leaders to have a bag with $50-75 worth of needed supplies. It saved the teachers money, and showed that the church cared. This is a somewhat small congregation that delivered the supplies at a catered meal for these leaders.
  3. Paula’s son was shot, and her family struggled as part of the healing process. Instead of staying home sad, she led some students from her church (All Nations A/G) to help at a homeless shelter…serving food, playing with kids, and listening to stories. They even helped clean up at the end.
  4. Sean’s youth group is soon going to go to the home of elderly individuals with a 6-foot Christmas card. The card includes cut outs where students will show their faces and sing carols…They’ll do it at Christmas time 🙂
  5. Joey from Swifton A/G in AR worked with his group to rent a community center that they turned into a coffee shop. Free food/good music/snapping instead of clapping. Good times. I’m in a coffee shop as I write this, but I know that lots of towns don’t have such a place. Cool.
  6. Santana was part of pen pal club that would interact with people around the world.
  7. Madeline from Evangel Church International took a group of students to Haiti. I could share at length about the idea of going overseas to help show compassion…
  8. Jeremy is a part of The Tabernacle in Orchard, Park, NY. They’re working with churches, community leaders, and government officials to do a mini-extreme makeover in an inner city neighborhood. www.webreakout.com, www.thetab.org
  9. Lauryn from the Lighthouse Tabernacle shared how their church would help single moms with a day for them to come to the church for pedicures, lunch a car wash, school supplies for the kids, and tools and support for them.
  10. One man is considering a car wash where his church pays the people who are getting their car washed.
  11. Kisha…adopt a neighborhood…cleaned yards. Lifepoint Church Prescott Valley
  12. Some youth groups have gotten permission from city leaders, and painted murals in rougher parts of town.
  13. Andrea’s youth group from Whitefish A/G in Montana, would purposefully do random acts of kindness..groceries/car wash/water/etc.
  14. The Dream Center in LA has a ton going on to help people in the community
  15. Shannon and Sara mentioned that Canyon Hills A/G in Bakersfield, CA, helped a person in the community by doing their version of an Extreme Makeover Home addition…cleaned blinds/etc.
  16. Mandy’s church, Bethel Temple A/G in Parma, OH, would supply Christmas gifts for kids in the community. This is much like Angel Tree, a great program through Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship, that supplies gifts for the children of prisoners…and the gifts is from the parent who is in prison, but being delivered by people from a local church.
  17. Sandy from New Horizons in Lowell, MA, mentioned that students from her church went to a local veterans nursing home and sang Christmas carols, providing residents with little packages with things like combs/etc.
  18. Shannon’s from Grand Prairie, TX, where her church would do many things on holidays for the community, such as Halloween Trunk or Treat for neighborhood kids, etc.
  19. Chelsea’s church, Valley Fellowship Yakima, WA, would deliver Thanksgiving meals when they knew families might not have one. Also, youth group in fall/winter they adopt a seniors mobile court–shovel snow, rake leaves.
  20. Chelsea’s group also would help people around the world through supplying funds through Kiva, to provide micro-loans to small businesses.
  21. Chelsea also mentioned “Make it, Take it” where her youth group would make fun gifts to give away. They find out what the family wants and take it to them.
  22. Tonya’s church in Chandler, AZ, would provide backpacks/school supplies/etc. for kids in group homes. They’d also help with birthday parties/etc.
  23. Some referenced churches that supply gift cards for the mom’s at Teen Challenge/etc.
  24. Royal Family Kids Camp is cool! Anytime the right students/adults can help at a Royal Family Kids Camp is a great thing.
  25. Karen’s college group would hand our soda/snacks to community college.
  26. Some churches had some incredible ideas for fundraisers to help those in need:
  27. The best place I’ve seen for ideas regarding fundraising for missions is through the Overflow Experience. On that site, students from around the USA and world share ideas they’ve used to raise money to help those in need. Here are a few ideas…
  28. Waylon Sears at Victory Worship Center led his students to raise funds by selling Hope For Haiti t-shirts. They sold a lot of shirts, and helped a lot of people through Convoy of Hope.
  29. Evan Courtney of The Fields Church in Mattoon, IL, wrote, “I tweeted and blogged about a specific organization each day, I was on a missions trip to Honduras. They gave me a shirt to wear for that day.” Love what Evan’s doing…
  30. Jessica’s church has shared their fine arts talents and raised funds at concerts/etc.
  31. Shawn Askinosie isn’t a youth leader, but he does make chocolate. He came up with a great idea called “Serve Someone” where you pick a family/individual that you’ll help until they don’t need the help anymore. He set up a website, www.servesomeone.org to get ideas rolling, and to set up a system to help.
  32. Dawn and Jackie both mentioned how wonderful it is to have someone babysit the kids…especially special needs kids. When there’s not family around, the chance for parents to go on dates is a very nice thing.
  33. Bryce’s church has made sandwiches and more and taken them to areas where homeless people spend time. They’ll spend time with their new friend over lunch.
  34. Stephanie’s group in Georgia has taken 9 v batteries throughout neighborhoods where elderly people live around the time changes. They’ll give out batteries so people can change them in their fire alarm, and will offer to change them if it would help.
  35. Stephanie’s group will also go to neighborhoods and rake leaves, clean gutters and more.
  36. My sister’s church in Hammond, IN, adopts blocks in the area where they can help people near the church–cleaning up, etc. Other churches, such as Phoenix 1st AG have done this for years. Great idea.
  37. Our church in Republic, MO, has helped local schools with gardens, done free car washes and more.
  38. I walked through Convoy of Hope one day and saw dozens of students from Northpoint Church helping with opportunities in their own community. Great idea. Here’s their intro. video.
  39. Finally, I love being a part of Convoy of Hope and all we and partners around the world are doing to help those in need…can’t forget Convoy…

I’m positive there are many, many other ideas people have used to show compassion creatively. What are some ways you’ve seen?

Primal review and reflections

battersonJesus says the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. In his latest book, Primal, Mark Batterson takes readers on a journey to a deeper discovery of understanding just what the command means. It’s a journey to the core of Christianity, and indeed, it’s Primal.

I don’t know Mark (just met him in line to get a hot dog at a conference once), but I listen to his podcasts.  He writes like he speaks.  As I read I hear his voice in my version of an audiobook.  His words aren’t so much a theological dissertation as they are a practical account of his thoughts on each of these important areas.  He combines stories, examples from science and history, and insightful commentary.  I got a great new perspective on a command I’ve heard my entire life.

Consider these thoughts:                                       

 “A child dies from drinking contaminated water every twenty-one seconds.  Are you okay with this? That question can be and must be asked of all suffering and every injustice. Are you okay with this?”

 “The more of God’s creation I experience, the more I am convinced of this: awed silence in the presence of divine beauty is a form of worship that is often deeper and truer than sung words.”

 “I’d rather have one God idea than a thousand good ideas.”

 “Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you.”

 

 The highlight for me:

 The entire book is engaging, but I’m most thankful for his thoughts on loving God with our hearts.

 I’m on my way home from an emotionally intense trip to Bangladesh and Nepal, two of the world’s most fascinating yet poverty stricken countries.  While there are many ways we love Him with our hearts, Mark spends good time communicating God’s heart for the poor.  Loving God means loving what He loves and caring like He cares.  The words inspired me, and I’m thankful for their impact on all who will read them.   

 Conclusion:

This is a great book.  I suggest it as the first book for you in 2010.  It’s relevant, challenging, inspiring, thought provoking and practical.

 The message to me?  Let’s love deeply, dwell in awestruck wonder, think creative God given ideas, and work really, really hard for Him. 

 

Lastly, thank you Mark for sipping coffee at Ebenezer’s with our fall ’09 Convoy of Hope interns and now for stopping by this site on your blog tour…

Good timing…

On our Plan B trip to El Salvador, our first place of ministry was a small village about 30 minutes from San Salvador.  There, we worked with a local pastor who was preparing to start a church at our place of ministry.  The church started Easter Sunday.

200esvillage1

They’ve been working in the area, but without our Plan B, they wouldn’t have been there that day.

While there, we shared food, shoes with those who needed them, and toys for the kids.  Jorel and Bethany also shared about hope and life and a future with Jesus.  After we shared with the people, a woman came to Bethany with the news that when she arrived, she had planned to kill herself in the very near future.  She decided not to that day.  Bethany prayed with her. Hope.

I don’t know the woman’s struggles…I know there’s extreme poverty, violence, drug use, gangs, and more where she pile o' foodlives.  I know that many men have abandoned their families and woman are left with little or nothing.  I don’t know her struggles, but I know they must have been big. Now? Hope.Bethany with a friend

We made sure she met people from the soon to start church.  She said she’d go…and it’s in her village.  I’ll be back soon and will check to see if she made it. The woman in the photo isn’t the one of whom I write…it didn’t seem right to take her photo.  However, this woman’s life changed that day too.

Here’s Bethany sharing the story from her perspective…