If you have spent time on a Watermark campus this summer you’ve likely heard about how you can “See the City” over the next few months and experience Dallas in new ways.
One great addition to the service opportunities and equipping events are some fantastic serving guides. Most of these resources were drawn directly from Watermark members, who have lots of experiences with serving neighbors, serving with their families, throwing neighborhood get-togethers, and more!
Let me take you on a tour of some of these great serving guides, highlighting the parts that stuck out most to me.
How can I engage the person I drive by who's asking for money? This is a question that crosses the mind of anyone traveling across the Metroplex. The Care Kits for the Homeless resource lays out a healthy response to not only meet an immediate need, but also reach people more deeply when you have opportunity. I appreciate that It’s a tool that puts into practice When Helping Hurts principles we’ve discussed previously, and provides a "middle ground" response to a situation most of us face regularly.
The Hands & Feet Guide is a personal favorite for me, which is why I’ve mentioned it before in another blog! I get quite a few questions from young families about ways to serve with kids. The Hands & Feet Guide was developed by a group of mothers who actually serve with kids as young as 2, and this guide is great for kids from 2 years old to late elementary school. Check out this resource for some outside-of-the-box service opportunities!
Do you want to know how your fellow Watermarkers engage their neighborhood? 98 Ideas for Serving in Your Neighborhood was compiled by other folks just like you. One of my favorites on the list – “I served others in my neighborhood over the past 3 years as “The Sweet Tooth Fairy” by surprising individuals and families with fresh desserts, meals, and others items.”
The Backyard Bible Club guide supplies folks with a five-day breakdown of resources to host your own activity time for kids this summer! Everything is structured to include a focus truth, a memory verse, and a section of scripture to pair with a fun activity. The best part about this guide is that it lays out a simple framework for you while still giving you the freedom to personalize it for both your style and your neighborhood!
Watermark families have shared how they served with their kids over the past year, and many of their great ideas can be found in 162 Ideas for Serving with Your Kids. My favorite is number 96: “We started doing small acts of service in the community when our son was 18 months old. We leave artwork with scripture on our trash can for the waste valet and leave a sign ('Need a Church Home? Come See') with tear-offs of Watermark’s address at our neighborhood mailbox." What a simple yet significant way to engage with your kids regardless of their age!
Phil Dunson opens this guide by saying, “I have traveled 8,000 miles to visit people I have never met and share the gospel overseas – through a language barrier – but I can’t travel 300 feet to visit my neighbors and hopefully share the truth of freedom through Jesus Christ.” If you want to learn about a fun way to engage your neighborhood, Block Party in a Box covers it! This is a great tool because it brings back a favorite past-time (block parties!), and lays out how you can use it to serve your neighbors.
These resources are all a great starting point to see the city and serve the city from your own perspective. I would love to see and hear how you serve this summer! Tag #seethecity to share your experiences, and please send us your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about External Focus visit watermark.org/blog/external-focus for our weekly blog!