This past Saturday, Summit gathered from far and wide for our 29th niceSERVE. We got up early to make our communities safer, healthier, and more beautiful. More like God intended. We served our neighbors and we glorified our awesome God in plain sight for all to see.
Now that the event has passed, you may wonder, “what now?” I hope some of you reconnect with the organization you served with or one you heard about that sounded great. I’d love to see Summit continuing to meet the needs of these amazing organizations. We intend for niceSERVE to be a spark that ignites a passion for service and provides an introduction to organizations doing good work.
As for what's to come...We’ve defined service somewhat narrowly over the years and we want to do a better job of helping you find out how God has geared you to serve by expanding the way we talk about service. We want to help our community flourish through the discipline of service.
First, whom should we serve? We tend to think of the destitute and that’s not wrong, but that’s not all. We’re all hurt by sin and brokenness. Within your family, friend circle, Connect group, or community there are people who need to be encouraged and helped in practical as well as intangible ways. Don’t miss those within arms reach because you’re searching for a specific type of need to meet.
Next, where should we serve?
Seriously, though. Think outside of the organization box and look to see what and who is around you. In your home, your neighborhood, or even your school or workplace, God may present you with opportunities to make that place better.
Finally, how should we serve? Americans are problem solvers. We are conditioned to see problems and have the gumption to tackle those problems. This isn’t a bad thing. It is part of what makes our country great! As a nation we have a spirit to make things happen. Imagine how different things could be if when we noticed brokenness, we looked at those experiencing it and we started the troubleshooting process by asking what they had to offer as image bearers of our awesome God? Jesus did this. He saw His Father in the face of every person He locked eyes with. He invited them into their own healing. What if we did the same? Oftentimes those experiencing hard times struggle to see that they have something to offer or that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
This deepening and broadening of how we look at service can manifest in many ways. Sometimes it will be a straightforward volunteer opportunity. It could be something you craft on your own for your community. Some seasons, the way you grow in the discipline of service may be difficult to make room for in your life and your options limited and that's ok. We'll be shaking up the practical ways Summit serves very soon. My hope for each of you is that you will be encouraged to be creative and see your world with a new lens as you cultivate a lifestyle of service.
Elizabeth Cronlund is the Community Engagement Director at Summit. She would love nothing more than to help you take your next step into service! Shoot her over an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for some ideas on how you can harness your niceSERVE momentum and keep on serving your community.