By David Evans
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).
Our world is rapidly changing before our eyes. What once was a world that revolved around the church is now a world that seems to want nothing to do with it. During my grandparent’s lifetime, the church had a community voice and a place at the community table. If the church had an ideological position concerning a situation then most often the community followed the position. This place of influence is no longer where the church assumes. No longer is a church automatically granted a seat at the community table, and church members can no longer assume that it is so.
How can the church have such influence in the community that people are compelled to surrender their lives to Christ? It earns its place by serving the community in kind and loving manners.
Jesus was always good about serving people that others overlook. Can I suggest a people group that most often go overlooked in most of our communities are civil servants. Educators, policemen and women, fire fighters, and emergency workers are dedicated and hard working people that do a job that most people cannot even fathom. Serving this people group would more than likely be considered a niche because I can almost guarantee that no one else is paying much attention.
How do you serve civil servants? The way that I have found most affective is by feeding them. Church folks (especially my Baptist kin) know how to cook and eat. If you are able to drive a grill up to the local fire hall, fire it up, and start cooking some sort of food, then I can guarantee that you will start making friends. I personally got permission from the chief before I came and let him know what we would be cooking. When we got there to cook, we did not open up in prayer or song. We simply shook their hands and started cooking. We did not want to force our biblical practices on them, but the cool thing was that they asked for it. Before they ate the chief stopped the entire process and asked us if we would pray for them, the food, and the community. The prayer was not forced but invited.
Civil servants meet many people in many different situations. When you are kind to them, they do not ever forget it. They will even talk about your kindness to people that may be in need. Isn’t that a wild thought? Serving a civil servant group in such a way that they tell the community about you for you.