12+ Resources for Christian Volunteering, Community Service, and Missions
Pastor Rick Warren in UnChristian is 100 hundred percent correct in zeroing in on this fundamental truth:
Thirty years from now, regardless of changes in technology, communication, and culture, people will still have the same basic needs. They will need love, acceptance, meaning, purpose, forgiveness, dignity, and significance. They will struggle with selfishness, fear, guilt, resentment, worry, boredom, loneliness, and other universal problems. These won’t go away. Thirty years from now the solution will still be the same: Jesus Christ.
All the governments, busineses, and NGOs combined have failed in solving these. The only group large enough to handle these problems is the network of millions of local churches around the world. We have the widest distribution, the largest group of volunteers, local credibility, the promise of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the inevitablity of history.
McLaren echos these sentiments when he envisions that who Christians could be and hopefully will be in 30 years:
• Christians are the ones who love people, whoever they are–gay or straight, Jew or Muslim, religious or atheist, capitalist or not, conservative or liberal.
• Christians are the ones who have done more than anyone in the world to stop the HIV/
• Christians are the people who gravitate toward the poor and who show compassion through generous action and seek justice so that the systemic causes of poverty are overcome. They call the rich to generosity, and they call on rich nations to work for the common good.
• Christians care for the environment. They don’t see it as raw materials for economic gain, but they see it as the precious handiwork of their Creator.
Christians build harmony among races. You always know that you’ll be respected when you’re around a Christian.
Given that I passionately believe in these principles, I wanted to create a central repository of information of information about Christian service, to provide a springboard for service in the real world. Here is what I know about. I realize its just a starting list–a jumping off point. Do you have any suggestions….
Volunteer Match is fantastic.
Cool People Care, which has regional outgrowths in cities across the country
Idealist is always a great resource for non-profit info. You could find what existing organizations are serving the service you want to provide and the population you want to serve. This also provides potentially great ideas for program models.
Community Service on Google. You can also check out Volunteer Service on Google (see also Christian Service Opportunities or Christian Missions) You should geographically micro-target your searches by adding your city name.
When I lived in DC I found the local Rotary International through craigslist. Craigslist often has great info on community service and service organizations. Also, service organizations on google may help point you in the right direction.
Do you have a great link for service or volunteering? For missions? Is there a church or christian non-profit with with a particuarly good kingdom outreach? What can you do now? What can you do to help make these visions a reality?