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How you can serve your community during a pandemic

Send Relief encourages Southern Baptists to make a difference through compassionate care

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July 16, 2020

On Send Relief Sunday, recognized on July 19, Send Relief encourages Southern Baptists everywhere to join together in meeting needs and changing lives through serving others across the world. 

There are a variety of ways you can be the hands and feet of Christ. We have heard countless stories of Southern Baptists who are making a difference through their acts of service, even as churches continue to navigate the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Send Relief Sunday provides a specific opportunity for you to tangibly express the love of Christ, even if your churches remain closed. You may want to implement these ideas on July 19 or use the day to start promoting the idea(s) you choose.

Ways to serve neighbors during a pandemic

Here are a few quick and easy ideas:

For churches

Create care packages for grocery, delivery and other essential workers: Show kindness by giving employees small bags with healthy snacks, gift cards, etc., and a thank-you note from your church. Your church can also consider packing bags in advance and working with the manager of a nearby store to arrange delivery to all of the store’s employees. 

School supplies: Even though many school districts are still exploring how to execute a return to the classroom this fall, one certainty is that students will need school supplies. Start a collection of school supplies, pack them in bags, and then work with your local school’s principal to determine the best way of delivery. 

Be a prayer warrior: Make lists of needs, people, etc., that are specific to the community your church is in, and spend specific time praying for them, asking God to show you ways to provide ongoing encouragement and ministry to them.

For families

Social distancing may currently keep us from offering hugs and other expressions of personal care, but it doesn’t have to hamper our creativity when it comes to serving. Connect with your church to discover the best contacts for the ideas below. 

Send Relief Sunday provides a specific opportunity for you to tangibly express the love of Christ, even if your churches remain closed.

Create a donation box, and fill it up: Help your children sort through clothes, toys, books, and other items in good condition to find things that could be given to those who are less fortunate. Read Matthew 25:34-41, and talk about other ways you can help “the least of these.”  

Support foster and adoptive families: Send an encouraging card in the mail, and order a meal to be delivered to their home. If they do not have a church family, invite them to visit your church in the future.  

For your children

Children learn best and feel empowered when they engage in projects that allow them as much hands-on activity as possible. Give guidance, but encourage their creativity.

Write thank-you cards: In additions to these notes, your kids can draw happy pictures for the medical staff at a local hospital. Include a simple Bible verse or reminder that God sees them and loves them. Contact the hospital to determine how best to deliver these. 

Get crafty: Let your child create items—pasta necklaces, painted stones, cookies, etc.—that they can share with neighbors, along with a note or drawing to encourage them, and ask them to let you know of any specific prayer requests they have.

Use Send Relief Sunday to start preparing your church for the Southern Baptist National Day of Service on Oct. 4, 2020. This will be another amazing opportunity to meet needs and change lives through tangible service that, we pray, opens up avenues to share the gospel. 

Ultimately, it is the lovingkindness of God that draws men and women to himself (Jer. 31:3). Yet, we are all called to be extensions of his lovingkindness to the world. For more ways you and your church can provide compassionate care to others, visit SendRelief.org

Gabriel Stovall

Gabriel Stovall writes for the North American Mission Board. Read More by this Author