the weblog of Alan Knox

More Community Service

Posted by on Nov 16, 2007 in community, service | 4 comments

A couple of days ago, I published a short post called “Community Service” that linked to a post written by Andrew Hamilton’s wife describing how he had recently been given an award for his community service. I said that followers of Jesus should be known as servants in their neighborhoods and communities, but that I fell far short in this area.

A new blogging friend, Richard Hawkins from the blog “my life in bits (and bobs)“, left an excellent comment on my post, and said that he would be interested in hearing different ways of serving in a neighborhood or community.

As I said, I am not where I should be in this area, but my family is growing toward becoming servants in our community. Here are some things that we have already done, some things that are planned, and some things that are simply ideas. Some of these things simply help us get to know our neighbors and community better. Other things are directly related to service.

  • We have had some of our neighbors over for dinner and to meet some of our friends who do not live in the neighborhood. We need to do this more.
  • We attended a neighborhood holiday party hosted by our neighbors last summer. We met many of our neighbors at this party. We plan to attend as many of this parties as possible.
  • We stayed in our neighborhood to trick-or-treat and to hand out candy at Halloween this year. Usually we go to a carnival, but we decided to stay home. I had fun walking around the neighborhood with my daughter and her friend, and my wife handed out candy. Again, this was another way to meet some of our neighbors.
  • I plan to attend my first ever Homeowners Association meeting next month. I’ve lived in several neighborhoods that had Homeowners Associations, but I’ve never attended a meeting. Again, I’m hoping to get to know my neighbors and some of their concerns.
  • Also, next month we are inviting some of our friends to go carolling around our neighborhood. We are baking brownies, making candy, etc. to give to our neighbors as Christmas gifts as we carol.
  • We were hoping to host a backyard carnival this fall, but it did not work out. So, we are hoping that we will be able to do this in the spring.

So, these are some of the things we’ve done and some of the things that we are hoping to do in order to get to know our neighbors and to begin serving them. Perhaps you have other ideas. If so, please share with us what you’ve done to serve your neighbors, or ideas that you may have to help us serve our neighbors.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 11-18-2007

    Hi Alan,

    It is interesting to see your take on serving the community and indeed just being part of it.

    My wife and I often mention how just being honest seems to stand out in the world today. At work we have both had the situation where managers love feel blessed by straight hardworking honest people, but sometimes collegues can feel threatened.

    If we have integrity in our faith we will stand out even if we are only taking part in what they do.

    For me personally though, I am not a social mixer. I tend to work more on my own or as one of two. We aren’t all built the same. As I say I took on the role of School Governor and found that I wasn’t suited to the cut and thrust of group debate.

    Any ideas on comunity service for introverts?!! (I am sure this will raise the hackles on some necks as they may see that Christians should be healed of introversion and we are called to “go out.” But as I see it I am who God made me and if He wants me to be different then He just has to say the miracle word! I also see it that we are all different because we all address different needs. I can work intensly in ways that extroverts can’t.)

    Obviously serving is a personal issue. For emaple some may be able to work volentarily with the edlderly, disadvantaged, children’s work and so on. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with that.

    Here in England, some would argue that there isn’t a community! We are all very insular and lock ourselves in our homes!

    Sorry if that sounds negative, I’m optimistic that God will open a door somewhere!

  2. 11-19-2007


    Our neighborhood is fairly insular as well. We rarely see our neighbors outside. They leave for work early in the morning, come home in the evenings, and stay inside for the most part. Thus, we’re trying to come up with creative but authentic ways to meet and interact with our neighbors. I’ve learned that God can use both intraverts and extroverts. I’ll be interested in hearing more about some of the things that you’ve tried to do to interact with your community.


  3. 11-19-2007

    By contrast to serving the community as “me,” I got involved in the church’s efforts to reach the community. I like writing about the faith, script writing and the whole performing thing. So I used to write for the Parish mag, and help put on plays, secular and spiritual, for the community.

    I can remember when I went to the first Governor’s meeting one of the members knew me from my mag articles even though she wasn’t a Christian!

    However, since leaving that church there hasn’t been the opportunities to do similar.

    I am part of an amateur dramatics group, I never see that as serving so much as being part of the community!

    I think the obvious first place to start in serving the community is through prayer. To find out what needs are in the community and take them to the Lord. Also to pray for workers for the harvest.

    I was prayer walking but got stuck walking dead end streets as you can’t help looking suspicious walking in and straight out of a road! I was also posting leaflets through doors offering “church” in both help if people needed it and church itself. But there was no uptake.

    I am torn between the annointing doing the work and wording it right!! You never know whether where you live is one of those places where even Jesus couldn’t do anything or whether you just aren’t doing it right!!

    I can hear both sides of the argument, one saying just do it God will emower it, and the other saying are you moving in the Lords will?!


  4. 11-19-2007


    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is amazing the way different people have different interests and talents (as well as spiritual gifts), and that God desires to use them all for his glory.