Brandon Hatmaker shares in his new book The Barefoot Church about a way his church created an opportunity for people to experience what it’s like to serve:

“I know that sounds weird to taste need, but that’s what it is: an event designed for people to just show up and feel what it’s like to serve. It’s a critical step. Ours comes in the form of an event we call Serve Austin Sunday (SAS). On fifth Sundays, ANC cancels our regular church gathering to go BE the church. We choose a number of projects to do with strategic non-profit organizations across our city and just go out and serve together.

“And although this event is designed as an entry-level service opportunity, it’s amazing how much it impacts those who’ve never served. It’s amazing to see how easy it is to invite a neighbor to join us. And it’s amazing to see how quickly people grow when they step into leading at the event itself, rather than simply attending. For some, it’s a culture shock like they’ve never experienced before. It’s incredible how many people have never done anything for someone in need.

“The reasons we do this on a Sunday in lieu of our normal worship gatherings are threefold:

1) creates a service-minded DNA

2) changes our posture to the community

3) opportunity to invite others”