I recently heard a church consultant say that “younger generations of church go-ers want mission they do, not mission they send to.”
Which is a way of saying that people want the hands-on experience of making a difference more than they want to send money to overseas missionaries who will then make a difference for them.
I think that consultant is probably right.
I also think that’s why our First Serve launch was a good success this past weekend. Over 250 people from Good Shepherd served at venues ranging from a Friday night gang prevention ministry with middle schoolers to Saturday morning sites such as a local nursing home, a battered women’s shelter, a transitional housing unit, and the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
I spent Saturday morning at McDowell Park, cleaning litter from the shores of Lake Wylie. It turns out that there have been staff cutbacks there, leaving only two people to clean 1100 acres. So they really needed the volunteer help. It was dirty, smelly work . . . but I firmly believe it was kingdom work.
So if the other 249 volunteers had half the experience I did, it was doing mission indeed.
(By the way, Good Shepherd still sends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to our overseas mission partners.)
The next First Serve is on Saturday May 3. You can find out more here.