Today we are blessed to have a guest post written by Ken Kebrdle from the ministry; Wear Gloves.
It is an honor to be asked by Mel to be a guest poster on Trailing after God.
Command to love others
Jesus, when asked what is the greatest commandment replied, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself” This command to love is amplified in the gospels and throughout scripture. Nobody will dispute this, but what does “love your neighbor as yourself” really look like?
The Wear Gloves mission is a classic God story, very regular people being used by a very cool and powerful God. Read it in your free time at www.weargloves.org.
Twenty-One months ago we left our home and headed out into the mission field, in total control, having all the answers with plans on changing the world. We were taking the “Be the Church” concept with the intent to mobilize church folks into service in their communities. Borrowing a concept developed and perfected by The Church of Hope in Ocala, Fl. www.hopeinocala.com with the help of missions guru’s Billy Spivey and Rob Peters. Instead of going to a worship service in a building on a Sunday we would mobilize all attendees and worship our God through service in the community. Our name Wear Gloves came from this concept; work is hard so put on your gloves as the workers are few- Matt 9:37.
God threw us a curve, as He tends to do sometimes. Through a series of events we ended up going through a bible study in Orlando, taught by a very smart man Phil Hissom. The study, “Dignity Serves”, developed by the Polis Institute, teaches the true heart of service. During that 6-week study, we learned what loving others really looks like. Well as you may have guessed by now the Wear Gloves quest to single handedly change the world was in jeopardy.
Many church service projects that we organized and ran were targeting areas of great need and no doubt they displayed our desire to love others. We worked with churches to have huge food distribution days to feed those who needed it; we finished that day tired and with a great feeling of accomplishment in our hearts. We organized Christmas Presents for distressed families, showing up on Christmas Eve at a needy home, brought in gifts for the kids and food for the family, left that door feeling complete.
But do we know if we helped those distressed folks? Did we show them love? Most importantly do we even care how it made them feel or if it helped? Most times it was not about the results, it was about me feeling better about myself. We didn’t even find out what the food needs really were of the folks we gave food. So, do we show a homeless guy love by handing him a $5 bill out the window? Do we care or are we just doing something to make us feel less uncomfortable?
Phil Hissom of Polis taught us some life changing principles during the “Dignity Serves” classes. We do not love someone if we are simply fueling their dependencies. When we treat a non-emergency situation like an emergency situation we add to a dependency.
So understanding these basic concepts lets think further about our stated service projects;
So what is going on in the minds of the distressed families as they wait in line for our groceries? How does that make the Dad feel? We have diminished his dignity with his family as their provider, are we at least aware of that affect? The distressed family that we brought Christmas presents. Did they spend their last $10 on gifts that they saved with the intent of giving that to their kids on Christmas morning? We now stepped in and diminished their gifts to their kids and took that joy of giving from them. Are we considering this as we walk into that home Christmas Eve?
All service will be flawed as we are a bunch of messed up folks trying to serve a bunch of messed up folks.
The Wear Gloves Ministry now works directly with church and civic groups to better serve in a more dignified way with interest in long term benefits. We also work directly with homeless folks, utilizing their gifts and talents to serve where God has placed them.
Want to get fired up? Go to our website at www.weargloves.org and go to the street video’s tab. On this page you will meet Kevin and Bettie who just a year ago were living in a tent in Ocala FL when we met them. They are now living in the back of a home and have transformed their life into one of service to their communities. Their passion is to share the homeless story with the world and Wear Gloves is working with them to make that happen.
Wear Gloves is a 501©3 non-profit charity almost totally supported by individuals and families, we look for folks to support us financially at $10 per month. Join us!