“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink….” Matthew 25:35.
What does it mean to demonstrate kindness and compassion? As a pastor I’ve seen my share of acts of kindness and compassion. Most recently, the young adult ministry members at the Corrales Seventh-day Adventist Church have shown me that they understand what this means. The ministry has evolved in the last few years. It started off as a small group of about six to eight young adults and has grown into a group of about 30 to 40 people that are influencing every aspect of the church. These young adults are serving as ministry leaders, Sabbath School teachers, deacons/deaconesses, elders and volunteers in various other areas.
One of the reasons for the effectiveness of this ministry is that as a group they encourage an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance. Not only do they have deep and meaningful conversations during Sabbath school morning time on a weekly basis, but they also plan monthly activities outside of church. Typically, these activities are social gatherings that give them an opportunity to get to know each other and strengthen their friendships. They have game nights at someone’s house, picnics at the park, bowling nights and the list goes on. But more importantly they coordinate outreach Sabbaths which involves them going into the community and serving those in need. They recently joined the church’s Community Service ministry in partnering with Last Chance Ministries, a non-profit organization that works closely with the homeless community, to feed the homeless in downtown Albuquerque. As a result of them joining together, the Community Service ministry at Corrales has thrived.
I believe this has happened because these young adults understand that kindness and compassion is not something that you claim to have, but something that you live out. The beautiful thing about it all is that these young adults were the ones who took the initiative to serve in this capacity. Their desire for service was triggered by their time together in study and fellowship. In other words, the community that they created and nurtured eventually evolved into an army for service, overflowing with acts of kindness and compassion to those around them. This kind of unselfish service is a fruit of those who choose to live with the mindset of Christ. Now, as they continue to grow and mature, I see them not only inviting others to join their activities, but they are inviting them to be a part of their lives. Their time together in study, fellowship and service have now become a natural overflow of life. We can all learn from this example and do the same because I truly believe that this is how it’s meant to be!
By Andre Arrais, Texico Young Adult Director