Local churches plan "Kindness In Action Day"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Sunday, Oct. 20, several Cassville churches will join together to perform intentional acts of kindness to those in need within the community.

"This is just a chance for us to get our people out of the walls [of our churches] and for the community to see that the church does care," said James Weaver, pastor at the First Baptist Church in Cassville.

Officially called "Kindness In Action Day," this will be the largest undertaking ever attempted by the Ministerial Alliance, which has been involved in the area for many years.

"Typically, we do the Good Friday and the Thanksgiving services, and we take care of the Baccalaureate for graduation," said Weaver, who offered up the idea of providing community-wide service to the other members of the alliance.

"We can do more than just two services a year," said Weaver. "We were all feeling that we wanted to do more together."

This will be the third time that members of the First Baptist Church will be involved in this type of experience. The idea originated from a member of the congregation who had researched the work being done by Steve Sjogren, a church planter, who began his ministry in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"He coined the term 'servant evangelism,' and this is what his entire church did when they left church on Sunday mornings and went out in teams across the community,' said Weaver, who sees this type of experience as an opportunity for the community to see that churches can be relevant in today's society and make a difference.

"To me, one of the things that this is -- it's a voice where we are not irrelevant, we're not just about us and ours." continued Weaver, "We exist in this community, and we exist to benefit this community and bless this community."

Members of the alliance have already agreed upon several concepts even though plans are still in the preliminary stages. Some churches will plan to have a service that Sunday morning while others will just begin their community service earlier.

Teams will gather at the American Legion grounds in Cassville at 10:30 a.m. and will be given assignments, tools and materials as needed. The Alliance hopes to provide a sampling of projects beforehand so that volunteers can bring their favorite tools.

Anyone is invited to participate whether or not they presently attend a sponsoring church. Currently over 10 churches in town have committed to this project and members of the alliance believe that teams should be mixed.

"The idea is that teams will be comingled," Weaver said. "It's not going to be the Methodist teams and the First Christian teams, and the Nazarene teams and the Baptist teams. We'll just be teams of Jesus Christ from churches all over town."

T-shirts will be distributed prior to the event, and a late lunch will be provided at about 2 p.m. as the teams complete their projects. Volunteers will be needed to work on service projects and to prepare and serve the meal.

The Alliance is currently in the process of contacting Christian performers to provide an entertaining-and neutral concert event scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.

Weaver sees this as a "bring your lawn chair kind of night," and he envisions a sound system and flat bed truck for performers.

The Ministerial Alliance will meet again in early October to finalize the plans for this event. Weaver meanwhile hopes that the momentum and enthusiasm will grow in the coming weeks and motivate people to volunteer.

"What we are saying is that the church has left the building," Weaver said. "To me this kind of action demonstrates that the love of Jesus is a practical love."

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