Our Pastor challenged us a couple of weeks ago to think differently about missions. No sooner has Canadian Thanksgiving passed that I am already seeing Christmas decorations up in the stores, and a few of our neighbours are already putting up their Christmas lights. As has been the case since my children were very little, I am getting ready to fill Samaritan Purse shoeboxes and the call is already out there to help families in need by donating warm jackets and filling up Christmas hampers. This past Sunday, our church was the drop off centre for food donations for our quarterly community food drive. A community-wide event that sees tons and tons of food donated to fill the shelves of our local food bank. I have been privileged to be a volunteer at many of these food drives and I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of neighbour helping neighbour. Still, I am always left with a feeling that we could do more!
For several years our family “adopted” a World Vision child. It was an opportunity for our children to see for themselves what “love in action” is all about, but we were often overwhelmed by how many children were so needy and we could only help one. In fact, if I am being honest, the need is always so great for so many that instead of driving me to action, I am paralyzed instead. How can I possibly help so many all by myself?
So I do nothing.
The same holds true for sharing my faith. I live in a community of about 20,000 people. It’s a “small” town, but still plenty big enough that I probably only interact with less than 1% of those people. Statistics say that one in four of those people in my community believe in God, (not necessarily Jesus). They profess a faith, but it could be any “variety” of faith. I drive down the Big Hill and look over my small town and think, “How can we possibly reach all these people with the Good News of Jesus Christ?” The task is so daunting I feel overwhelmed so I do nothing.
Each year I receive dozens of calls from community and social groups who are seeking funds to help them meet the needs of people who are struggling year round: Crisis Pregnancy Care Centres, Canadian Cancer Society, Missing Children Society, Easter Seals, Compassion Canada, Global Response Disaster Relief, Red Cross…the list is endless. I want to support them all, but I get immobilized with indecision so I do nothing.
That’s why I was so impacted by our Pastor’s message a few weeks back. He said, “Do for ONE what you would like to do for many!” Andy Stanley has spoken specifically on this topic and I’d encourage you to watch a message that Stanley gave on this entitled, “One, Not Everyone.” The idea is to focus your attention on ONE person at a time. It’s interesting how that aligns so well with what Jesus did so often in His ministry. He helped one person at a time…the woman at the well, Nicodemus, Jairus’ daughter, blind Bartimaeus. Oh sure, He also fed five thousand (and more), but Jesus can do that sort of thing…I can’t…but I can learn from His example to talk to and help ONE person and do for ONE, what I would like to do for many.
How about you? Will you do for ONE what you would like to do for many? Choose ONE person this week and buy them a cup of coffee, or babysit for a new Mom, or visit someone in the hospital, or write an encouraging note to a friend…
Choose ONE charity this Christmas from the several I’ve listed above, or choose one of your own and support it financially or through volunteering your time.
Choose ONE person and tell them how much God loves them!
Do for ONE this week!