Perhaps our motto should read, “Small Things Done with Great Love Are Changing the World” because that’s what’s happening. We get reports from pastors, lay leaders and ordinary Christ-followers all over the world who have discovered the power and impact of “showing God’s love in practical ways.
The Power of Kindness
To get a complete understanding of Servant Evangelism, you should order and read Conspiracy of Kindness by Steve Sjogren, founding pastor of a church that grew from a handful to an average attendance of 7,500 in just fifteen years. Such things happen now and then. What makes this story unusual is that this happened in Cincinnati, Ohio — a city that has long been known for its in-your-face unfriendliness! Mark Twain spent a good deal of time in this city on the Ohio River and often commented about how rude people were. When this church was launched, Cincinnati was ranked as the third most unfriendly city in America. After serving about 12 million people over those fifteen years the, tone of the city literally changed and that change had made a permanent impact on the city in innumerable ways. Servant Evangelism (SE) connects people to people in a natural, easy, low-risk, high grace way.
Who doesn’t like to be given a cold Coke on a hot day? Especially by someone who is smiling, happy and having fun.
SE wins the heart before it confronts the mind. A small act of kindness nudges a person closer to God, often in a profound way as it bypasses ones mental defenses. The average Christ-follower is willing to hand a stranger a can of cold Coke on a hot day (low risk). The high grace is seen in the typical reaction. “Oh, thank you!” “This is so nice!” “I can’t believe this is for free!” And, “Why are you doing this?”
Kindness builds the bridge for the person to receive a touch of love from God. It’s simple, practical, effective, inexpensive and fun!
Steve’s lastest book, Outflow, takes the conspiracy of kindness to a whole new level by releasing “regular” Christ-followers to live the Jesus-style life of noticing and responding to those around us with kindness, love and generosity.
What Do I Read First?
Where Do I Start To Learn?
Great question! There are numerous books, articles, study guides and journals here and on our resource site to choose from. Here is our suggestion.
1. Begin with the book, Conspiracy of Kindness.
This will provide you with a basic understanding of the biblical and motivational gridwork for the power of kindness that has been a part of the forward advance of God’s kingdom since Jesus’ arrival on Earth.
2. Then read Outflow.
Conspiracy is a broader treatment of the topic of the power of God’s kindness and generosity as it flows through his people. Outflow is a strong encouragement that digs deep into how that power can move through us individually, day by day as we go about our lives, interacting with people in absolutely normal ways with God intersecting others through us as we are simply available to notice what he is doing in them.
3. Checkout KindnessResources.com to discover other resources that will be helpful to you with different aspects of Servant Evangelism / Outflow.
Subscribe to Serve! with Steve Sjogren – The online ezine about outward focused living. You will receive a steady flow of great ideas and articles each month that will stoke your desire to learn more about how this all works for greater effectiveness.