This past Saturday I spent the day at our church district’s training program for clergy and laity. As much as I really didn’t want to go after a long week, I picked myself up and went. A great speaker was brought in to talk about evangelism in the United Methodist church. In my opinion, she did a great job. One statement, however, has stuck with me, “the church is not your local Kiwanis club”. As you know those are my two major passions. Serving in the church but also serving in the community. I have a hard time separating the two like she was implying I should.
When I look at Kiwanis’ defining statement reads, “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time”. Then I look at the United Methodist church’s mission which reads “The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”. Take out the specifics of church, Kiwanis, and Jesus Christ….it sure sounds like the same mission. We are people who are called to do good, and while doing good, we are to shine the light and show others how to do good, we are to love those around us, both adults and children, this should be done in all nations and change the world around us. Whether you volunteer or serve, we can do it no matter what. When I go to church we pray, when I go to Kiwanis we pray. When I go to church we look for new ways to shine the light of Christ to those around us and proclaim the good news in order to build his kingdom. When I go to Kiwanis, we plan new ways that we can help our communities both locally and globally. Am I not able to shine the light of Christ, through the work that I do both inside and outside the church? I think we are all called upon by God to do just that!
I believe society really needs to stop separating the two. Why can the church not do the same as the Kiwanis Club? Why can the Kiwanis Club not do the same as the church? What is the difference between the church’s pancake breakfast to raise money for a cause or a ministry from the Kiwanis Club’s pancake breakfast which is raising money to purchase books for the local school who cannot afford them? There is no difference because as people we are called to help those around us, to love one another and to bring the good news to the people whether Jew or Gentile. Whether Christian or Kiwanian, we are serving the God, who has called us to serve his people.