B. Begin with Prayer
The first "S" stands for "Serving." We begin with prayer to know where God is sending us, go to where he sends us and listen to the hearts of the people. We share meals with the people, where true relationships can be formed, and barriers break down.
By this point, as you develop relationships with those around you, you should start becoming familiar with the true needs and cries of people's heart. If you want to find out how to truly "love your neighbor as yourself", you must first find out how you can serve them...and once you hear it...do it.
An example from our family's life is our opportunity to serve the homeless in Unity Park in Fort Worth. The first thoughts people have when feeding the homeless is providing food, clothing, toiletries, etc. What we discovered after spending time down there, getting to know the people, is that this was not what they really needed. Ministries in Fort Worth do a great job in taking care of the necessities...what is lacking for them is to give something to do, activities that they don't normally get the chance to do. After praying, we knew the best way we could help them was to provide a volleyball tournament...not the first thing that comes to mind, but exactly what they needed.
On almost a weekly basis, we bring down a volleyball net, a couple of volleyballs, some water, and some gift cards and host a volleyball tournament. Men, women, children, senior citizens all playing together, having fun. Playing in the hot sun, we know water is needed, so Logan and Julian take it upon themselves to "serve" by making sure water cups are filled between game.
Afterwards, we hang around, listen to their stories, and pray for those around. Every week, our family shows up again...as we walk in, we are known as "the volleyball people."...the crazy family who shows up to put on a volleyball tournament, pray with people and give out gift cards.
That's the goal with all of this...serving others to the point where they see you as a little crazy...or as I like to call it, an overflowing of God's love. Our prayer is that we can love and serve those Christ calls us too, just as He would love and serve them. We pray they see Christ in us.
How can you "serve"? Remember, it starts with defeating the assumption that you know what they need. Do not assume that...take time, get to know them, hear the cries of their hearts, and then do what you can to be Christ's love to these people. Serve them in such a way they can't help but wonder what makes you different...why you would do this. From your kids' schools, to your neighborhood, to the homeless downtown, to wherever God leads, serve in such a way that they see you are different. Show Christ's love in such a way that people can't help but questions "Why?"...which leads to our final S in B.L.E.S.S...Your opportunity to story with them...stay tuned...
Living to serve in His Kingdom,