So, I have absolutely LOVED this idea that our church implemented a few weeks back called “Project GO." For those that haven’t had a chance to follow along, about six or seven weeks ago here at North Central Church of Christ, the leadership and staff started this amazing challenge to the congregation.
In short, each week, all members are given a chance to do something that may take them out of their comfort zone or help them engage with people in a new environment, with some new people in general, or just do a good deed for someone that may need it. To provide a further catch-up, below are the six challenges that have been put out there to date:
Week 1 – Do your laundry at a local laundromat.
Week 2 – Start a conversation with your server.
Week 3 – Write an encouraging note to someone.
Week 4 – Meet a neighbor you don’t know.
Week 5 – Perform a random act of kindness.
Week 6 – Ride the red line.
Did I say that I loved this already! Especially when the call to action as a Christ-follower is to do something that either directly shows the love and hospitality modeled by Jesus Christ or do something that puts you in a situation where an “unexpected opportunity” might be created for you to show Christ’s love, pray for someone or just begin to see people the way God sees them.
Would you indulge me and let me share a little about two challenges that I have completed and the outcome or impact?
In week two, my husband Marvin and I did start a conversation with a server. I know out of the first two challenges, this was definitely an easier one to do, surely within our comfort zone as we usually eat out once a week or so anyway.
But this night, we were intentional about our conversation and talked more with our server, and we learned some great things. We walked away learning: his name, how long he had worked at the restaurant, the fact that he’d worked for the restaurant group in two different locations, that he’d recently moved from downtown to the Pendleton area, and most importantly, it gave us an opportunity to show some generosity with words.
We complimented him and thanked him and the team of servers working that night, because as we all know, staffing a restaurant has been an adjustment during pandemic recovery. But they, and he, did a GREAT job, and we wanted him to know it. We could tell when he left the table after that conversation that he felt good, and that felt good to us as well. We will return to this restaurant, and we will remember him as a server. Who knows where the conversation could go from there, but it was a good start at going a little above to show some hospitality and love.
Related to this challenge, I keep thinking of:
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
The second challenge we completed was Challenge #3, “writing an encouraging note to someone.” Sooooooo happy for this one too … because you know how sometimes the things you “want” to do are the things you “don’t” do. I had been thinking of a particular couple for a while and had been wanting to reach out with a note of encouragement. I just hadn’t done it … until challenge #3. This was important to me because I knew that this couple was undergoing some news and hardship that was just plain difficult. And I didn’t want them to think they were going through it alone.
I wanted them to understand they were appreciated, loved, cared for, and most importantly, being prayed for. Their names were being raised to the almighty God for support during a challenging time. I know they knew it, but I wanted to reiterate that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were right by their sides. Challenge #3 made me “take action” and provide the encouragement that my friends needed.
Related to this challenge, I keep thinking of:
Phillippians 2: 3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
I think it important to note that while God uses us as facilitators of encouragement, He is the ultimate encourager through all of our tough times. In Isaiah 41:13, it says, “For I hold you by your right hand, I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”
A reminder to me that when I encourage, I should be sure to point people to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as their biggest support.
These “Project Go” challenges have been awesome. I completed the “random act of kindness” as well, and although I haven’t yet done my “laundry at a laundromat” or “ridden the red line,” … I’m gonna GO for it!
As Christ-followers, we should be OUT THERE. Exampling Christ, seeking to be an encouragement to someone, establishing new friendships, being in the broader community, and being available to have a positive impact on someone in need, all in the name of Christ.
If you read this and have taken some of the challenges, please find me or someone else in the church and share your experience. It would be great to hear from you. And be sure to keep GOIN’ with Project Go!
Thank you again to those that thought up “Project Go.” It’s been a complete and total blessing to participate.
Lynn Utley – 17 Year Member of North Central Church of Christ and determined Project Go-er!