Father, the news is deluged with stories of heartache. There are so many hurting people in our communities. Some of them, though burdened with the challenges of life, consider themselves blessed that their lives aren't more difficult. With a grateful heart, they long to care for those in seemingly unimaginable and intolerable circumstances. They want to serve as volunteers, hoping to in some way bring relief, even if it is but for a minute, to someone who struggles to survive each day. Such volunteers long to serve in soup kitchens, in homeless shelters, in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in prisons. They long to tutor children, act as companions for the lonely, and serve the needs of orphans.
However, when a volunteer opportunity comes along, with time and place advertised, such would-be volunteers find themselves suddenly too busy to serve. Father, they often can't find even one hour to give to someone in need. They look in the mirror and fight off the nagging voice that tells them their busyness is just an excuse. They comfort themselves with the self-awareness that they care about the suffering of others.
Meanwhile, ministries and charities, short on volunteers, struggle to complete the tasks that must be done to serve the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. They invest time and money to recruit and train volunteers only to receive regrets from volunteers who present a plethora of excuses for why they cannot volunteer after all. The burden of the ministry falls on a few truly committed volunteers who already carry the weight of the organization on their backs.
Father, it is scary to walk down a pitch-black path in a forest at midnight. It is frightening to walk down a back alley where gangs assemble each day. For many people, it is just as frightening to be asked to minister to someone who is mean and nasty, unbathed, scarred by life, and so embittered that they trust no one at all. Who wants to sign up to be abused and mistreated by the very people you wanted to serve? "I signed up to volunteer, but it was miserable. I'll never do that again."
Father, how can this problem by resolved?
We have a solution at Gramazin.
Father, please use Gramazin to give volunteers at ministries and charities the courage and confidence to go out into their communities and love their neighbors in need. May our publications, such as Take Every Passage to Prayer, give volunteers practical applications of the Word of God so that they feel prepared to demonstrate the gospel to others. May our publications, such as Take Every Thought to Prayer, give believers an understanding of those who have messy lives and how they can relate with them. May our web applications, such as 72Stories, enable volunteers to encounter people with messy lives and develop strategies to minister to them, all from the safety of their homes.
Father, it is my prayer that You will use Gramazin to strengthen the recruitment, and the dedication, of volunteers who serve in local outreach ministries. I ask You to encourage ministry leaders to prayerfully explore if Gramazin can complement their ministry objectives. Lead them to contact me and discuss if Gramazin is right for their organization. Amen.
What kind of believer is enthusiastic about local missions? It is a believer who has confessed their rebellion from God. It is a believer who has placed their faith in Christ alone for salvation. It is a believer who lives a repentant life in full surrender to the authority of God's Word. It is a believer who loves God so much that they love the people He loves - their neighbors in need. Our book, Take Every Passage to Prayer, Volume 2 - The Gospels, affords teams of believers from your church private online spaces to brainstorm together how their faith can grow to the point that they want to take action to love their neighbors in need.
How can believers make sense of human suffering? How can believers minister to people diagnosed with cancer? How can believers minister to families going through divorce? How can believers minister to people who are estranged from their children? Your ministry teams can chat about each one of the 700+ prayers about the human experience in our two volume book Take Every Thought to Prayer. The result of such discussions will be strategies your teams create to address the various hurts and disappointments their neighbors are facing.
Testimony sharing is essential to local outreach. "What did Jesus do for you?" "Why are you being so kind?" "Do you really believe in this stuff about Jesus?" Sadly, many believers in our congregations are terrified about sharing their testimonies with others. While we don't profess to have all the answers for how believers can gain confidence in writing and sharing their testimony, we have enough passion for testimony sharing to have prepared 72 recordings on the topic. Your teams can listen and then chat about each recording, encouraging each other to share their testimonies with their hurting neighbors.
"My heart is right for ministry. I have an idea how to minister to people who may be suffering with any number of adversities. I've even prepared my testimony. However, I really don't know how to walk into my community, meet people, build relationships with them, and touch their lives for Christ. What's that look like? What if I make a mistake? What if people are nasty to me? How do I respond to them?" Your team members can step into our ficticious communities and make mistakes in ministry with our fictitious characters. Your team can then talk about how to avoid those mistakes in real life ministry.
"Good morning, everyone! Welcome to our volunteer orientation. Over the next few weeks, we are going to prepare our hearts and minds for volunteering. Our orientation will be using Gramazin.com as our private online space to brainstorm how to be effective as volunteers.
Your ministry teams can examine a passage from the gospels and chat about what the passage teaches about ministry. Your team can then chat about one of over 700 life experiences common to the human experience, brainstorming how to minister to people in a similar situation. Next, your team can chat about one of our testimony training audios, encouraging each other to prepare their testimony to serve Jesus Christ. Your team can also choose any one of over 3,100 characters in the fictitious community of West Hunter USA and chat about how to share the gospel with someone like them.
All of these chats are displayed in our Fellowship Space.