How Can I Aid My Community This Holiday Season?

Shakia Clark

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Published: Nov 13, 2022
How Can I Aid My Community This Holiday Season?

This holiday season is a great time to pause from the busyness of life and serve others. If Jesus took the time to give us this example right before He was about to endure unimaginable pain for us, we can too.

The holiday season is always a special time when people come together to enjoy great food and celebrations as well as look for opportunities to serve those in need of additional assistance. This is when we see more churches, families, and communities come together to show their support for a group or cause.

As believers, serving others should be in our DNA because Jesus modeled this so well for us. In John 13, we see how Jesus knew His time was coming and that the devil had prompted Judas to betray Him. Before Jesus returned to be with His father, He served. Scripture tells in verses 4 and 5, “so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him" (John 13:4-5). Jesus showed them the importance of serving others. Jesus, the Son of the living God, humbled Himself to serve His disciples. 

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:14-17).

Before the biggest moment took place in history, Jesus took the time to serve others, to give us an example to model our lives after. He did not have to do this for us, yet He did not want to leave earth without serving those who left everything behind to follow Him. He didn’t want to go back to heaven before He left this practical example and teaching moment to display the importance of serving.

This holiday season is a great time to pause from the busyness of life and serve others. If Jesus took the time to give us this example right before He was about to endure unimaginable pain for us, we can too.

Below are four ways to help aid your community this holiday season:

1. Truly Seeing People

This holiday season, we can commit to seeing people the way God sees them. We are all image-bearers (Genesis 1:27) who need grace. As you are doing the mundane tasks of life, take time to truly notice those around you. Who has God placed on your path? We never want to approach people or communities by just looking at ways we can offer help to them, but we want to spend time and allow people to know they are loved, seen, and valuable to God and, therefore, to us too.

If God places someone on your heart or allows you to take notice of someone, lean into it and don’t let that moment pass because it could be for a special reason.

Jesus tells us that people will know that we are His disciples by how we love others (John 13:35). When we allow God to help us truly see His people, it opens up the gateway for us to love and encourage them. People are longing to be seen and cared for. 

2. Understand the Needs of the Community

It is critical that we not make assumptions about what we think is needed but truly take the time to listen and understand the needs within the community. We may see a lack where the community exudes joy, and our aid can easily be misconstrued. We want to understand how to bring the most value to those in need. 

I remember going on a mission trip, and it was easy for us to see how we could make things easier for a community because of how we do things in America, but that could have potentially taken away from the culture and the joy of how they prepare and do things in their country. We want to offer help, but we never want to assume our way is the only way.

When you take the time to truly understand the tangible and emotional needs of a community, you may find that you will get something out of serving them. Philippians 2:4 tells us that we should not look to our own interests “but each of you to the interests of the others.” Often, I find that when I serve others, I tend to gain more from being in their presence.

Serving isn’t always convenient, but it is rewarding. There will always be something on the to-do list to accomplish, but allow yourself to be a blessing and serve someone else.

3. Follow Your Passions

There are so many causes and opportunities to serve, but you can’t do it all. Take the time and evaluate what drives you and follow those passions to serve. God has placed a passion inside of you for a reason. Whether it is spending time feeding the homeless, assisting victims who have been rescued from human trafficking, or being a source of comfort for the elderly in nursing homes, whatever you are passionate about, find an organization in your area and look for ways to volunteer. God can use your skills and your passions to reach others for His kingdom.

When you follow your passions, you can gain so much more through serving, which could open up an opportunity that extends past meeting a short-term need.

4. Commit to Showing Up

To influence authentic change, you have to be willing to show up—not just for the holiday season but making it a part of your life to help others. We have to pray and put in the work to serve those who need our support. We have to remember that the needs of a community (or organization) don’t stop once the holiday season is over. There is always an opportunity to serve others year-round. Getting in the habit of showing up allows you to make a long-term impact beyond meeting short-term needs. It is then that you can develop relationships within the community and be a constant light to those who may feel hopeless during this time.

So many people are hurting, and so many feel uncertain about things in their lives. This holiday season is a great time to look for opportunities to meet the needs of your community, but it is important to do so in a way that honors those you serve. We don’t want to be people who just meet the needs we think we know, but let’s commit to being people who embrace the needs of those we are called to serve. We don’t want to just look at someone as needy or lacking but ask God for His help to see them as His children who may need encouragement during these hard times. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

When we serve others, we are doing so to the Lord. He is pleased when we show up with a cheerful heart, willing to help others. 

Let this holiday season be the start of providing love and support to a community in need. Your work will not be in vain, but it will be pleasing to your Father. If you don’t know where to start, pray and ask God to put a neighborhood or person on your heart to serve. The reward for us is that we will be blessed (John 13:17). 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Natalie_

Shakia Clark Author HeadshotShakia Clark is a writer, marketer, and servant leader who is passionate about encouraging women to experience God’s best for their lives. She has a heart for women to see themselves the way that God sees them. She finds joy in coming alongside them in their journey. When she isn’t writing, you can find her spending time with friends and family, traveling, reading, trying new recipes, or actively serving her community. She blogs at www.shakiaclark.com.

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