Monday, September 19, 2016

Interview with Dr. Brian Fikkert

This fall, the Northridge Serves team is collectively reading When Helping Hurts in order to have an understanding of Northridge Church's outreach strategy. Below is a link to an interview with Dr. Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts, giving an overview of the book and Dr. Fikkert's ministry through the Chalmers Center at Covenant College.

"Everything around me is wired to remove pain and to give me great comfort and assurance. There is a sense in which I don’t see a need for God in the everyday. I do intellectually, of course. But in the way I experience my Christian life and the way I live it out, there is a sense where I do not reach out to God as desperately as people who are in need do. I really do need him for every moment, but I do believe that Western Civilization has inoculated me a bit." - Dr. Brian Fikkert

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Motivation to Serve Others

Everyone, it would seem, approaches the act of serving others in their own unique way. There can be many things that motivate someone to take on the role of servant to those in need of help. Certainly, many people have a natural compassion toward others that is at the root of their desire to help. But compassion alone may not be a sustainable form of motivation. In a brief but thoughtful blog post that you can read in its entirety HERE, Pastor Eric Geiger of ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, Tennessee offers a clear discussion of possible motivations or service, which can be misguided.

Consider one of his conclusions:

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"It is true that compassion often serves as a great starting point for service, but unless compassion is connected with something deeper, it is unsustainable. Because of our sinfulness, causes that appeal to compassion lose their impact as our senses are slowly numbed to the pain around us. Do you remember the first time you saw the commercial with the starving children? Do you still respond with the same sinking feeling in your gut? Compassion that’s only connected to human emotion quickly wanes in impact. Only compassion firmly connected to the gospel is sustainable.

Compassion linked to the gospel is compassion that goes beyond merely observing hurting people; it sees hurting people and realizes that Jesus loves them furiously. Ultimately, then, it’s not our compassion but the compassion of Jesus that fuels and sustains our desire to act on another’s behalf. When we remember how gracious and compassionate Christ has been to us, our compassion is as sustainable as our remembrance of the gospel. Without Him, compassion will slowly but surely devolve into a weepy moment that we forget as soon as the commercial ends or someone breaks the mood with a funny joke."

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Have you ever considered the driving force behind your desire to serve others? How can or do you maintain a healthy level of motivation?

Monday, August 22, 2016