This week the members of Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, Mississippi are “taking it to the streets” in an effort to serve those who need their help in tangible ways. Basically the church is setting aside 72 hours this week–Thursday, Friday and Saturday–to serve the community in a wide variety of hands-on services. I first heard about it from some friends who will be taking part. Then I read about it in our local newspaper:
Here’s a further description from the church’s website:
What is it? “72 Hours of Service” is a mission trip right here in Tupelo! For 72 hours we will unite and show God’s love in very practical ways.
What type of projects will we be doing? We have projects including stuffing envelopes for Global Outreach and Touched by an Angel Camp, baking, singing, nursing home services, painting at Good Samaritan’s Health Service and SAFE, landscaping at Family Resource Center, a free car wash on Main Street, ministries at the bus station and laundromats, building a house, and more!
Who can participate? Everyone can particiapte! Age is no limitation! Even the younger children in childcare will be working on mission projects! We have projects from baking to reading to singing to gardening to painting to building to delivering meals! There is a project for every level of energy, physical ability, time, and talent We encourage Sunday School classes to work on a project together. This is also a great way for families to serve together! There are plenty of projects for individuals.
They even offer a list of ways that people can take part who will be out-of-town during the 72 hours. The church sponsors many of the projects, but members are encouraged to find their own ways to serve others.
The thing I like most about this idea is its elegant simplicity.
Practical deeds of kindness.
Dozens of ways to get involved.
Children and adults serving together.
Hundreds of people helping out.
This is what Jesus meant when he talked about being the light of the world.
This is good stuff, it’s the real thing, I love the idea, and I hope it catches on in other places. Any church large or small could have “72 hours of service” in its own community. Nothing ignites and unites a congregation like breaking the stained-glass barrier, rolling up our sleeves, and serving others in Jesus’ name.