Every person on this planet shares physical and spiritual needs. We serve a gracious God who has made a way for our spiritual need of salvation to be met through Christ. In his goodness, he also provides for our physical needs and invites us to be a part of his work by using us to meet the physical needs of others.
As leaders, we have the opportunity to lead our people be a part of God’s work through generous giving. We can cultivate a culture of giving as we continually provide our people with opportunities. Here are three ideas of ways to give to meet different needs across the world.
Local Food Pantry
Every human being needs food to survive. Most likely, there are people in your town or city who do not have enough food to eat. Identify needs in your area and begin working to meet them. Build a relationship or partnership with a local food pantry or ministry that distributes food if your church does not. If you have a special emphasis going on in your ministry, connect it to giving. If you are doing a series called “Give” for example, build an outline of the word give and encourage your students to bring cans to fill in the words. If you have a girls retreat coming up, collect canned goods to use as your decorations then give girls the opportunity to go and deliver the cans to the food pantry themselves.
There are places on earth where people do not have access to clean water. In many areas, people must travel long distances to find water everyday. Over 663 million people do not have access to clean drinking water. NeverThirst is a ministry focused on meeting the need of clean in people groups across the world. Their projects range in cost from $150 to $8,500, but all effectively meet the needs of people. Challenge your people to only drink water for a week, a month, etc. and give all of the money they would typically spend on other beverages to the building of a clean water source. This opportunity allows you to give towards a specific project, in a specific location, to a specific group of people. Spend time learning about and praying for these people. As you do, watch the Lord grow a love for these people in the hearts of your group. Click here to connect with NeverThirst.
Some people groups do not have access to the Bible in their language. According to the Wycliff Global Alliance, 180 million people do not have access to any part of Scripture in their language. 1.5 billion people do not have access to the full Bible in their language. The Seed Company has created an incredible opportunity called One Verse that allows you to financially support the translation of Scripture into new languages. SO cool. Translating one verse of Scripture costs approximately $35. There is so many creative ways to lead your people in this awesome opportunity. Through One Verse, your group can select a specific people group to financially support. You can begin praying specifically for your people group. This is something that your small group can take part in or even your entire student ministry.
If you are studying through the book of Philippians, make a goal to raise enough money to cover the cost of translating the book of Philippians into a new language. If you are hosting an event, leverage that time together to raise money to provide the life changing message of Scripture to someone who has no access. You can click here to connect with One Verse.
These are three places to start. Begin praying through what opportunities the Lord is leading you to. How are you going to cultivate a culture of giving amongst your people? What are some ways that you are leading your people to generosity? We would love to hear! - Becca
*photo attribution: NeverThirst