Making serving relational and inclusiveA church had been engaging in a Saturday morning food distribution ministry to neighborhood families. One man at the church drove by and saw all these people lined up, waiting in line for the food distribution. That gave the man an idea: interact with them. Here they were, all of these people basically standing out there, doing nothing, waiting to have relationships built. The church was approaching it as a transaction instead of a chance for interaction.

So they started a children’s activities table for kids who were waiting in line with their parents. The table had adults from the church ready to engage the kids in artwork, snack time, songs, and other fun activities. Kids became excited about going to the church to wait in line, and their parents become more interactive as well.

Soon another improvement was made to this ministry when one patron showed up early for the food distribution was put to work setting up chairs. He then asked how else he could help the church. That sparked an idea. The church had already been planning a Helping Other People (HOP) day where they would do yard work for the neighbors of the church. Maybe this man would want to help with that? He did. He was excited about it. After talking and praying about it together, they decided to invite all of the patrons who showed up for the food distribution that day. The church ended up with 18 more people doing yard work alongside them on HOP day, and even those who couldn’t make it were pleased to be asked.

How can your ministry get creative about making serving more relational and more inclusive?