And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. (36) When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (37) Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; (38) therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
It’s almost Serve Week! As a church family we’re mobilizing across our community to serve others. Why Serve Week? Why direct so much attention to mobilizing into our community? What’s the big deal?
Jesus Saw Others
According to Matthew 9:36, when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion. Don’t confuse the word compassion here for the word pity. Jesus did not observe needs and then move on. He acted. His compassion moved him to action. He was not merely present; he moved toward practice.
Jesus Met Needs
Jesus observed people who were needy. The gospel of Matthew describes those who were harassed and helpless. Jesus lifted His eyes and served the vulnerable around him. We are called to Serve the Vulnerable around us.
Jesus Prioritized Serving
Jesus clearly acted to meet human needs. He cared for the sick. He walked alongside the afflicted. He met physical needs along with social needs. But throughout his ministry, he clearly prioritized the greatest need. In Matthew 9, he first and foremost proclaimed the “gospel of the kingdom.” Jesus prioritized the need of the human soul. All people can serve others with physical and social needs. But only the church, through bold and loving gospel proclamation, can meet the eternal need of the human soul.
At TCBC, we Serve the Vulnerable to proclaim the gospel and make disciples as we meet basic human needs. The impact of sin is clearly visible in social injustice, poverty, suffering, and sickness. Our need for salvation is all around us. Serving those in need is an open door for gospel proclamation and discipleship.
TCBC serves those whose community is at risk. We feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and resource the underprivileged. We serve those whose life is at risk. We defend the value of every life and care for the suffering and helpless. But we prioritize those whose soul is at risk. We proclaim the gospel and call both our neighbors and the nations to repent and put their faith in Jesus. The only hope for true restoration of people is reconciliation with God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
GO SERVE TOGETHER!
Serve Week is a great time to invite someone to serve alongside you. Invite that person or group you are discipling and help them take their next step as a disciple of Jesus. Invite a lost person you know. They may not come to church with you, but they will likely go serve alongside you.
Serve Week opportunities range from food distribution in Johnson City to serving at an elementary school in Kingsport or serving meals to hikers on the Appalachian Trail. There are spots for individuals, whole families, or your entire Go Group. Check it out and sign up at the link below.
Because Jesus is worth it,
Elder Oversight Team / Lead Pastor, Global Outreach
Mike Laughrun has served as Lead Pastor at Tri-Cities Baptist Church since January of 2011. He and his wife Jennifer have been married since 1995 and have five children: Josh, Joseph, Olivia, Mya, Maleah.