Beyond bucks: 10 ways to make a difference
Updated: Jul 23
While finances are truly needed to make a difference there are many other ways that you can change a life as well.
1. Mow a lawn Sometimes the elderly need a helping hand during the hot summer days. Taking the time to mow a lawn for someone is a sermon to them on the love of God. You never know what people are going through and really need someone just to say "I care" by what they do and not just by what they say.
2. Visit those who are shut in
A pastor, I spent a lot of time visiting those who were elderly or sick and not able to come to church. One thing I heard most often was, "I wonder why no one from church comes to visit me?" The sad part was I had no real answer for them. I tried lame excuses like, "well you know it's summer time and everyone is busy." People love to see a smiling face, they love it when that smiling face can also spend time with them listening to their stories.
3. Help a single mom
Give that single mom a break. Watch her children while she goes out with some friends, or runs errands. Change the oil in her car for her, mow her lawn, invite her over for supper or leave a bag of groceries. She will appreciate all you do.
4. Clean House for someone
I know the first thing you will say is I don't have time to clean mine. There are those who are sick or going through something that this small act of kindness will preach a great love sermon.
5. Drive someone who needs a ride
I am always amazed at people who say that everything they own belongs to God but will not give a ride to neighbor who needs to go to the doctor, store, or even just for a ride. If God owns everything you have, then share with those in need.
6. Call someone who needs prayer
People are hurting and they need to know that someone cares for them. When you know someone has a need call them up and prayer with them. You don't need to pray eloquent prayers, just pray for them. Your family, friend, or coworker will see the genuineness in your heart.
7. Volunteer at your local cancer center
Take boxes of wrapped snack cakes and bottles of water. Give to the family members who are waiting their loved ones to finish treatment. Take time to pray with them, encourage them, and lighten their day.
8. Play games with neighborhood children
I know this is one area you must be careful in. We should not allow fear to stop us from making a difference in children's lives. When I was a younger pastor, I would organize kickball games, football, baseball, and other games for the kids in the neighborhood I lived in. We usually played these games on my front lawn. One day I had just gotten in from church and was eating lunch when a knock came from the front door. My wife answered the door and a little boy asked my wife if Pastor Bingham could come out and play. Over the years, I have met some of the children I played ball with and all of them still remember someone taking time for them.
9. Volunteer at church
Don't wait to be asked, volunteer. Find an area that will help your church reach out into the community. If half of the people that attend church would volunteer, we could take the world for Christ. We would also be short of preachers as many would have heart attacks from the number of volunteers!
10. Do something for your family
You can't win the world if you neglect your family. Make a difference in your family first. Spend quality time with your spouse, your children, even your extended family. Let them know you care by dedicating time to them.