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What Does Outreach Mean to You?

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians.2:10).

As believers, we recognize that we are saved by the grace of God, through his son Jesus Christ. But we also understand through Scripture that we are created to do good works, so our light will shine in the darkness, and we will be- come a reflection of Jesus to the world. Later in the book of Ephesians, in chap- ter 4, we are told that we are also being prepared as God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Outreach is just that: reaching out to others. When we show true concern for those around us, we are showing them Jesus.

Being involved in Women’s Min- istries makes me more aware of how women have a natural desire for fellow- ship, and a natural tendency toward car- ing and compassion. Just like Martha, we have a tendency “to do.” We want to help when we can, to fix things (or at least try), and care about our friends and neighbors. However, how is that possible in the crazy, busy lives we tend to lead? How can we fit one more thing into our day? Especially for those of us who work full-time, then head home to care for our own families: how can we reach out to those around us?

Opportunities

I believe we are presented opportunities every day to do good works. No matter how busy we are, we can still do “random acts of kindness.” Here are some easy suggestions of ways to reach out to those around us:

  • We can make a phone call and take time to listen to a friend in need.
  • We can offer to pick up something for a shut-in when we’re on our way to the grocery store.
  • We can jot a quick note t oa missionary.
  • We can offer to take a neighbor- hood child to the park when we take our own children.
  • When we invite visitors to a church event, we can offer to drive them.
  • Or we can invite friends to a Bible study, and offer them a ride.
  • While we are baking, we can make an extra batch to send to a college student.
  • We can volunteer to pick up and deliver a neighbor’s children from school.
  • We can look for visitors in church and invite them over for lunch, even if it is just soup and sandwiches. It’s really not about the food anyway; it’s about sharing our lives with others.

It takes a concerted effort to notice the needs of those around us. It may require us to pause, or interrupt, our plans. This may be difficult because most families are rushing around from school, to music practice, to the soccer field, grabbing dinner on the way.

John Ortberg, author of The Life You’ve Always Wanted, mentions this problem which he calls “hurry sickness.” He states, “One of the great il-usions of our day is that hurrying will buy us more time.” We want to believe that is true, but in reality it is not. God gives us all twenty-four hours in a day, and how we use those hours is our decision. We shouldn’t let busyness prohibit us from doing a kind act toward someone.

I encourage you to ask the Lord to bring to mind some needs of those around you, or to see a need as you go about your day. Take time for those good works, that others may see Jesus through you. As we serve others, God will give us time to do what needs to be done.

About the Author

Lynn serves as the Missions & Outreach Chair for ARP Women’s Ministries

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