Ministry Through Serving
The scripture is replete with verses and stories that teach about serving others and our communities. For example, Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord.” (NIV) In Mark 10:45 Jesus says, “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Later, the apostle Paul teaches that “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Gal 5:13, NIV).
At Third Church we are living out this call to serve in several ways:
1. Diaconal ministry – Our deacons pursue the ministry of mercy and compassion by visiting congregants, meeting their needs, and meeting the needs of individuals and communities outside the congregation by helping them financially.
2. Local outreach – Our church partners with local organizations to help them by sharing the gifts the Lord blessed us with. These organizations include:
Open Doors, Kalamazoo Youth For Christ, Winchell Elementary School, Alongside Ministries, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, International Campus Ministries at Western Michigan University, and several others.
We serve these organizations by providing volunteers, financial help, sharing their concerns with our community, and visiting these organizations to encourage them. Third Church also partners with the Winchell Neighborhood Association to provide their neighborhood groups and organizations with a welcome space for meetings and other activities.
3. International Missions – At Third we serve the Lord by taking his call to spread the gospel message not only via deeds but also via words. For this purpose, Third Church supports missionaries around the world. We partner with Karin Medical Clinics and Agape Christian School in Uganda, Rescue One Foundation in Haiti, Wycliffe Bible translators in Brazil, and more. We strive to support our missionaries financially and via volunteer engagement.
4. Pastoral Visitation and Counseling – Our pastors meet with church and community members to provide an empathic and non-anxious presence, listen to their concerns, and provide them with biblical insights to understand their own journey towards the kingdom of God.