the weblog of Alan Knox

Pick a need

Posted by on Jan 11, 2011 in blog links, missional, service | 8 comments

Pick a need

Do you see a need in Ethiopia? Then work towards meeting that need.

Is there a need for shut-ins to receive meals? Then deliver meals to them.

Do you recognize a need among orphans in Haiti? Then start helping the orphans.

Are there needs in a local food pantry? Then spend your time helping them.

Are there elderly people in your area who need help? Then help them.

If you see a need, then work towards meeting that need. Invite others to work with you, but don’t wait for them before you start obeying God.

If God is not calling you or gifting you to meet that need, then he will make that clear. Often, though, he reveals your calling and gifting in the midst of you serving others.

I cannot tell you exactly how God is calling you or how God has gifted you. I can tell you one thing that I know with complete certainty. God is NOT calling you or gifting you to do nothing or to only do for those who can love and serve you in return. God is NOT calling you or gifting you only to care for your friends or other believers.

Look around you. Do you see a need? If yes, then start working towards meeting that need. If no, then look again, because you are deceiving yourself. If you still can’t find a need, then join one of the people linked to above in serving others.


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

  1. 1-11-2011

    wow, do you know how to push my buttons today and agrivate me to no end. our county (a very wealthy one) has families approved through habitat for home-ownership …. however, habitat can’t do anything because they have no land.

    well, we as a church have land (among many churches) that we are not using but may in the future (whatever). why can’t we give them the land; we can host 10 homes (1/2 acre each). there are 9 appliciation in our county … sounds like a great need and a need we can meet …… BUT …

    ugh, going to go bang my head for awhile

  2. 1-11-2011

    Prov 24:12, “If you say, ‘See, we did not know this,’
    Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?”

  3. 1-11-2011


    Wow! What a great opportunity!


    How would you interpret that proverb?


  4. 1-11-2011


    This is so true. And we need to remember that the need God has impressed upon us is not the same need He has impressed upon others. So even though I might want to help rescue girls from sex trafficking, someone else might want to help bring water to Africa. I cannot judge or belittle others for not wanting to get involved in the need I am passionate about.

    Although, I must say, I have trouble with the “save the whale” and “neuter the cats” activists when there are so many human needs everywhere….

  5. 1-12-2011


    Absolutely! We’re all given different gifts, talents, opportunities, and even passions. We should follow those into serving others.

    I agree about the ‘save the whale” thing. We should seek to serve people primarily. (Although, we do help the local humane society with fostering dogs, and I’m in favor of neutering cats.)


  6. 1-12-2011

    …I’m in favor of neutering cats…dang! You beat me to it! 🙂

  7. 1-12-2011

    Yes, maybe we do need to be careful about what we think of others’ callings. Saving-the-whales, for example, isn’t just an environmental thing (although that’s pretty important, imho), but it also has a huge impact on some peoples’ lives, as well as their survival as a people and culture. I have close friends from both these groups whose lives have been very impacted from the decline of whale populations:

    (on the other hand, I’m not so sure about the whole saving-the-dogs thing… oops… guess that is my own personal preference rearing it’s head … So, yes, I definitely agree we need to be careful about criticizing others’ callings!)

  8. 1-12-2011


    Amen! Maybe we should start a new denomination promoting cat neutering?


    I’m not opposed to “save the whales” type service, as long as serving people is the primary motivation or if the people involved are also serving people in other ways. (However, I am already praying against your blasphemy against dogs…)