Spring is always a beautiful reminder of the possibility of new beginnings and fresh starts.
As you reflect back on the past months, what are some things you can (or need to) let go of in order to enable you to begin experiencing the freedom God has for you? For me, daily quiet time in God’s Word has been lacking because of busyness. Honestly, the result has been a shift in my focus on myself rather than the journey set before me from Christ. 
But here is the good news—His mercies are new every morning. Just as Spring reminds us, new beginnings are always possible with Jesus, even when things seem far beyond hope. Because God has unquenchable grace for us, we need only turn, let go of the past,  and embrace a new perspective—a fresh look at the future and all the wonderful possibilities it brings, free of failures and disappointments.
Let’s embrace that new perspective today. Let’s commit to growth together in Christ. Let’s be consistent in our walk this month, and allow our faith to strengthen. 
My prayer for you this month is that you will experience the favor of God in your life. May things turn around and work out for your good. May your tears transform into joy and laughter because the good Lord will grant your heart’s desires. May you be consistent in your walk with Christ and your desire to grow closer to Him.
 
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:6-7

Tips for Building a Solid Team Dynamic

There’s an African proverb that sagely advises, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This is especially true of any Christ-centered endeavor, whether it’s a ministry team or a faith-based non-profit like Feed the Need Missions. There are times when some of us more ambitious and energetic types might believe it would be much easier to go it alone. But biblically, to be truly effective, we must embrace the pursuit of the “dream team.”

Paul the Apostle went to great lengths to educate the ancient Corinthian Church that while we are uniquely gifted, we are wholly interdependent—designed to work in tandem to achieve greatness. Maybe you’ve had the joy of working in a group in which all are individuals operating cooperatively in their zones of excellence, not for personal glory, but for God’s glory. But for most of us, that feels like an illusive myth.

The truth is, building an effective team, and operating as one, is not easy. Great teams don’t happen by chance or by luck. They are built on self awareness, intentionality, right placement and shared vision. If you’re ready to take your group of highly skilled individuals to the next level, know that the road might not be easy, but it will be worth it. If you’re looking for practical ways to develop your mission or ministry team, read on to discover a few tools we’ve discovered that can help you get there.

Prioritize Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are unique abilities imparted to Christ-followers by the Holy Spirit. These are action-based, and are, simply put, the task God has in mind for an individual—their spiritual work assignment. Several scripture passages including 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 outline the many ways an individual may be equipped supernaturally for a particular ministry function in the body of believers.

One of the reasons spiritual gifts should be of paramount consideration on a ministry team is that it allows God the priority consideration. Placing a person on your team in a position to operate within their call and gifting will foster joy and fulfillment for that individual and great blessing to the team dynamic as they receive the fruit of it.

One thing to keep in mind is that, just as seasons change, so do spiritual gifts. These God-given abilities are given at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. They are not a person’s identity and it’s possible that over time they will change. It is important to evaluate these occasionally; in fact, they can be a helpful indicator of a need for role changes on a team.

Check out these free resources: Spiritual Gifts Test | Spiritual Gifts Explained

Understand Temperament

There’s a reason why so many corporations invest time and money to discover a potential employee’s temperament. Whether it’s enneagram numbers, animal types, the DISC or some other temperament questionnaire, ensuring a personality fits a particular team culture or a job assignment is extremely beneficial for a team’s success.

In general, these assessments give you an idea of how a person achieves the goals set before them. Some people are natural delegators or risk takers. Some crave routine, harmony and consistency. Others want to be given a detailed job and left alone, and still others love to work through problems socially.

Temperament assessments for a team bring self awareness, but they also help build sensitivity and reduce frustrations. As you share around the table, your team will discover new, viable options for solving problems. Seeing a lack of certain temperaments on your team can help you to recruit the best candidates as you expand. And hopefully, everyone will begin to appreciate the strengths others bring to the table. In short, each member will begin to understand their unique contribution while valuing those of others.

If you’re ready to dive in, try these online assessments: Myers Briggs Based 16 Personalities | DISC Personality Assessment | Working Genius (New!)

Focus Your Skills

Once you understand who’s on the team, and what they bring to the table, it’s important to align them to a singular vision. You can have the most skilled team in the world, but if they don’t have a clear understanding of where they’re going and how to get there, it’s going to be a real struggle to achieve success.

Does your organization have a strong mission statement? Creating a mission statement isn’t just about snappy marketing. It’s the driving force behind everything you do. Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers an exceptional in-depth guide to how to create a group mission statement. Once you develop yours, every action and decision must be filtered through the question: Does it help us achieve our mission?

Other considerations for focusing the culture and activity of your team are creating clear values and definitions of success. These help the team understand not just the goal, but the preferred way of getting to it. The best teams celebrate staff and volunteers who embrace these and make it a point to revisit them regularly.

Find Your Place

Whatever your temperament or spiritual gifting, there is a team waiting to embrace you at Feed the Need Missions. An established 501(c)3 organization operating in nine rural communities across Texas, we’re always looking for potential site coordinators, volunteers, church partners, and corporate partners in cities across the U.S. to join our mission to feed people physically and spiritually. If you’re ready to step in to an organization that is well-equipped to activate you, we’d love to hear from you. 

When you hear the word “love,” what comes to mind?

Most of us think of our spouses, children, family, or friends. We think of people who are easy to love, because they love us back. We often don’t think about those who are hard to love. Jesus says If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? (Luke 6:32). He goes on to issue this challenge to His followers: But love your enemies, do good to them” (Luke 6:35). It is not enough for us to love the people that are easy for us to love; we are called to love those who are hard to love.
But how?



How to Love the “Hard to Love”

Do we just put on a smile and make fake conversation until we can make the quickest exit? It’s important to remember here that biblical love is not about warm feelings. It’s about actions. Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, Jesus has given us the ability to love everyone, in word and deed—even those we think we can’t love. Here are some steps you can take to tap in to that power:

Pray often for God to change your heart. When we pray for our attitudes, and when we pray for our enemies, it’s amazing how or hearts begin to soften toward those who we find tough to love.

Forgive often as Jesus forgave us. This word in the Bible can mean everything from remitting a debt, to leaving something alone and even to simply overlook. And if you need motivation, just think about how God has done this in your own life!

Set healthy boundaries. Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be that person’s best friend. We can love even the most difficult people by being kind, meeting their needs, and showing them respect. 


Why We Love the “Hard to Love”


As Christians, we lead by example. Servant leadership is one of our core values at Feed the Missions. We believe it’s important to approach everyone with an attitude of service, just as Jesus did.
Loving people who don’t love us back can feel thankless at times. But we have a Savior who can relate.

Jesus loved us before we knew who He was or wanted a relationship with Him. So when we feel like it would be so easy to bring attention to ourselves or be angry at someone that has hurt us, let’s remember that we are who we are because of a God who never gave up on us. And if we’re committed to loving others well, one day maybe the hard-to-love folks in our lives will be able to look back and say the very same thing. 


Praying for a Heart to Love the “Hard to Love” 

 
Lord Jesus we ask that you forgive us for the way we treat others. Change our hearts to be more like yours. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and teaching us hard lessons. Allow us to be faithful to your word and walking out truth. Fill our hearts with compassion and servant leadership skills to help us love those that are hard to love. Your word says people will know we are His followers by the way we love- John 13:35. May we be reminded of who we are as we continue to love everyone. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
 

If you are ready to maximize the ultimate measure of your life, you can rest assured that Feed the Need Missions is an avenue through which you can make a major impact on those in most need and also reflect the character and values of Dr King.

Welcome to 2021—A brand new year is here! 
 
While New Year’s Day as a holiday has no biblical significance, this doesn’t mean Christians shouldn’t pause and reflect on the turning of the calendar.

A new year can remind us of new life, hope and opportunity. Every new season is a testimony of God’s grace. Creation itself reminds us of God’s great faithfulness as we witness renewal and rebirth. Things can be renewed. Even in a cursed, fallen world, hope for change can exist. In a sense, every day with Jesus is a chance to turn the page on an old way of life and embrace a new one. We are, after all, new creation people, and we serve a King who renews us daily by the Holy Spirit. 
 
A new year can remind us to be intentional. A new cycle of life can serve as a reminder to be present and intentional with the time we’ve been given. The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them”’ (Ecclesiastes 12:1). As Gospel-centered people, we should be mindful of the fragility of human life. 2021 is young and the opportunities seem fresh. Every breath is a miracle, a gift given to us by our Creator. 
 
A new year is a great time to recalibrate. Last year was a mix of joys and sorrows, goals accomplished and goals missed, friendships gained and friendships lost, year of pandemic, new jobs and some lost—but now it’s behind us. Choose God first this year! The proper response to the past year, whether good or bad, is not “I made it through” or “Look what I achieved.” It should be “Thank you, Lord!” Purposefully remembering God’s goodness instead of our own performance is a great way to begin again. 
 
A new year is the perfect opportunity to pray and reflect. May this year be brighter as you push into Christ. Let’s spend time in prayer recounting what Christ did for us. Let’s repent and fully worship his Majesty. Let’s renew our minds and commitments to Jesus first, then marriage, family, and church. Let’s rest this year. Don’t let the whisper of the enemy say you have less worth because you blew your resolutions last year. Jesus loves us unconditionally, and He doesn’t need our perfect performance to call us home and empower us for His mission. 
 
So as we make plans for 2021, let’s remember that even in our failures, we serve the One who remembers our frame and knows we are dust (Psalm 103:14). Trust your future to the King who holds the world in his hands. 

In case you hadn’t heard, the first seven days of January have officially been dubbed “New Year’s Resolution Week.” This week the entire internet has been inundated with “new year, new you” messaging, social media posts touting ‘words of the year,’ and other similar personal goal setting.

Taking time to reset and self evaluate truly are so important. Personal Bible reading plans and a restructuring of priorities are vital for growth. But if 2020 gave us anything, it was ample time to do this. Last year, as we learned to adapt to quarantined living in the wake of COVID-19, we became homeschool parents and remote office workers. We focused on family. We gardened. We crafted. We became digital media pros. What was sorely missed, in all this inwardly focused time, was a sense of community. 

A New Year Shift of Focus

In 2020, loneliness was off the charts. People felt disconnected, so much so that the CDC published resources, warnings and health ramifications associated with isolation. We missed our friends, and churches, and our coffee dates. We longed for unmasked smiles, unreserved hugs and high fives. Personal contact. Togetherness.

As we move in to a new year, consider trading the typical personal resolutions for a commitment to personal involvement in community revitalization. If ever there was a time, this is the year to shift our focus outward toward others. Should you need biblical support for this, you need look no further than this charge from the Apostle Paul:

 

Selfless and sacrificial service should be the daily norm for every Christian— but we don’t often incorporate it into our New Years goal setting. And it’s too bad, because it has some pretty incredible perks. In addition to the obvious spiritual priority the Bible gives it and the benefits for others, a service oriented lifestyle is proven to decrease depression, add skills to our personal tool belts, reduce stress and help us build new friendships. The ironic truth is we could achieve most of our personal goals more effectively by focusing less on self and more on others. Just food for thought.

A New Year Commitment to Community

So what does resolving to be others-centered in 2021 look like? Glad you asked! First, let’s talk about the need.

We know our communities have healing to do in the wake of 2020. But defining that more specifically helps us to articulate how we can be part of the solution. At Feed the Need Missions, we define the needs based on what we call the Four Levels of Poverty:

  • Physical poverty – This is the more obvious understanding of poverty, including a lack of tangible resources impacting food, clothing and shelter. This lack occurs for a myriad of reasons, but many individuals experienced heightened poverty in 2020 in the wake of job losses and furrows.
  • Emotional poverty – This type of poverty manifests itself through loneliness, mental challenges, relational issues or difficulty with life or coping skills. As mentioned above, there is a heavy sense of isolation and anxiety related to 2020.
  • Social Poverty – Often social deficits go hand in hand with physical poverty. Most often, social poverty is the desire to feel valued, to simply be seen, to be heard, and to have someone speak into their lives.
  • Spiritual Poverty – We believe the most dire need of all people, in the era of COVID or otherwise, is for the forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate solution, meeting every need associated with physical, emotional, social and spiritual poverty.

Feed the Need Missions is about meeting people in every one of these types of poverty. Our organizational mission is to feed people physically and spiritually. We do that through weekly pop up style dinner sites, where we distribute hot meals. As we address the physical need, we initiate personal interactions, offer prayers and proclaim the Gospel to anyone who is willing to listen.

A New Volunteer Service Opportunity

We do all this via an ever expanding army of volunteers. People looking for a way to make an impact. People just like you.

We often say, “the burger is just the tool.” We’ve found that, just as we see it play out in the Bible, physical needs being met opens the doors to fulfill every type of hunger. It gives us an opportunity to connect them to a Savior, Provider, Friend and Wonderful Counselor.

If restoring community in 2021 sounds like just the ticket for you, and you’re looking for a way to get started, we want to invite you to get involved in this vital mission as a volunteer, church partner, prayer warrior or donor. All you have to do is show up to one of our sites, and we’ll get you plugged in.

Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Are you ready to level up from Bible reading to Bible living? Are you ready to take Jesus outside the church walls? Then you are exactly who we’re looking to team up with in the new year.

Fellow believers, we’ve had our time to retreat and reflect. Now is a time for heroes to step up, ready to take action and be the healing hands of Jesus.

About the Writer

Amanda joined our staff in September of 2020 as the Marketing Director. She is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher and public speaker, and former church staffer. In her 10 years of adult ministry experience at one of the largest churches in the U.S., she fostered a passion and proficiency for church program development, discipleship and sharing the love of Christ.

 

For the world, Christmas has become a commercialized frenzy of crazed shoppers who trample each other underfoot while trying to get a good deal on shoes, games, and clothing. It seems so many have forgotten the true significance of the birth of the Heaven-sent King on that very special night.

For the Christian, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Lord—the heavenly and yet humble entrance of Immanuel into our world. The verse below is a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. It was Jesus who was born in a manger so that He might hang on a cross to rescue us from our sins. The birth of Christ heralds our redemption, our blessing, our cleansing, and all our hope.

This Christmas, share the Christmas story with your family before opening of gifts. You can listen to the Christmas story from Luke 2 here. And as you go about your busy day, enjoying family and food and festive traditions, here’s a simple, centering prayer for you to share at your dinner table:

Happy birthday, Jesus! We celebrate your birth and your life. Thank you for coming to earth as a baby, bringing life and hope to us all. May everyone at our dinner table surrender to you. May each day be a celebration of who You are in our lives and may we be reminded that you are our WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE. In your name, we pray, amen.


We hope that you find the Hope and Peace in Christ this Christmas season!

2020 was a record year for the Feed the Need Missions Gobble Kit program.

Over the course of four Gobble Kit distribution days in November, we served Thanksgiving meal kits to eight Texas communities, with the help of more than 250 volunteers, made possible by financial support from more than 350 donors. We distributed a record 764 Gobble Kits, praying over every single guest. While the statistics are exciting because they show the growing breadth of our program, it is the personal experiences that show the depth and impact. Read on to hear a few touching stories from those involved in this year’s program. 




The Blessing of Service: Volunteer Testimonies 

We are beyond grateful for our incredible volunteers, many who began helping months before the actual Gobble Kit distribution. From sorting, organizing, promotion and logistics to praying, visiting, and sharing the Gospel—these people went above and beyond to feed people physically and spiritually. As you read their stories, you’ll find the common thread that as they blessed others, they were equally refreshed and blessed.


Jeanette
from Bastrop South shared, “being able to sign people up and check them off the list made me feel so blessed. The fact that this program does so much for others, makes me so grateful. I thought it was wonderful and those who received were over joyed and so appreciative. It makes me feel joyful knowing that I was a part of this.”

Jennie
from Stony Point told us, “Watching my husband experience joy as he serves the community has changed our marriage. It’s such a blessing. My husband has never really been a part of something like this. It has helped us grow together because it gets us outside of ourselves. You don’t see the need until you’re present. It’s been a huge blessing for me to witness those who experience receiving food and watching the growth of our volunteers.”

Jack
from LBA said “It was a neat way to break in some of the folks that have just recently moved to the community by asking them if they were in need of a Gobble Kit. We have a lot of single parents that are trying to make ends meet and the thankfulness from them brought me to tears. Because of COVID and serving the Gobble Kits to the guests at their vehicle brought more opportunities to build the relationship and people were more vulnerable, especially those who couldn’t be with their family. The impact on being a family together is extremely emotional to the ones who couldn’t travel to see loved ones. We prayed together and cried together.” 

Teresa,
who
 serves at multiple sites, was extremely impacted by the volunteers presence at each sites. “We all came together and helped each other out at the different sites. Many Site Coordinators and other lead teams worked together to help make the Gobble Kit program a success. It touched my heart seeing so many people being prayed for and the acceptance of our guests wanting prayer. I saw many faces that I haven’t seen before that are struggling and this turkey meal was enough to give them HOPE.”




Becca: A Guest Experience

Becca is a single mom from a local community who has been struggling financially. She’s new to the area and heard about Feed the Need Missions by looking online for free Thanksgiving dinners. “I was in need, and so were my kids. I have three kids and it’s hard right now to work because of COVID and my babies being home. I wanted to make Thanksgiving for them to do something that felt more “normal,” Becca shared.
She came to one of the local serving sites to sign up for a Gobble Kit. When she saw the line of over 150 cars in line before her, she felt sure she would not receive one. “To go home and have to tell my kids there would be no Thanksgiving was going to be so hard for me.” 
Thankfully because of the generous supporters and donations, she was able to receive a Thanksgiving meal for her family. “I can’t thank you enough. I have been praying to God to send people to help me, and He did.” Not only did she receive a meal but now Becca is serving and was given a list of some resources in the area that could give her more assistance. 



Feed the Need With Us

What a joy it is to be able to report such powerful experiences. Not only is the program growing each year, but it is growing people up in Jesus. Volunteers are experiencing life change and our guests are encountering the peace and provision of Jesus. If reading these stories has inspired you to get involved, we would love for you to become part of the Feed the Need Missions family. You can support us financially by making a donation, or serve at one of our eight site locations each week.

What is Giving Tuesday? 

In the coming days, you will likely see social media and email inbox flooded with requests to give for Giving Tuesday. But what exactly is it?

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement designed to empower people to do what they can to improve the world. Situated just after frenzied Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, the initiative calls on the community to pause, to consider others, and to do something to support others and important causes. 
Participation also includes many activities, including:
    • Doing a kind deed for neighbors
    • Volunteering or sharing talents 
    • Giving your voice to a cause that matters to you
    • Donating to a local fundraiser, community drive or coordinated event
With so many worthy nonprofit organizations and activities from which to choose, how do you decide which cause to support? Read on for a few suggestions from our Feed the Need Missions team. 

How to Choose the Nonprofit to Support?

Give to support your community’s needs. One of the most invigorating experiences as a donor or volunteer is to actually see your donation in action— to see change happening and know you were able to support it.

Consider the problems that weigh heavily on your own community. Is it poverty? Homelessness? Hunger? Then seek out organizations that are working to solve these problems. If you can find one that is functioning where you live, or has a desire to expand to your area, even better!  Most organizations provide an overview of their
Mission Statement on their websites. 

Give according to your personal values. When you look for your cause, be selective about not only what your organization does, but how.

Investigate their methods and their practices. Read their blog and check out their social media sites. These should give you a pretty full picture of what they view as most important. Then consider your own personal values, and make sure your preferred organization matches up. Sharing values with the organizations you support means you can feel good about partnering with them. 

How to Partner with Feed the Need Missions on Giving Tuesday

This GivingTuesday, we hope you’ll consider Feed the Need Missions as you make your selection. Every week, we work hard to meet physical and spiritual needs in communities across rural Texas. At our site locations, we provide free weekly dinners open to anyone, as well as spiritual encouragement and prayer support. We also take hope on the road though our disaster relief efforts nationwide. 

Take a few moments to view a testimony from one of our donors here. Here you’ll learn a little more about our values as an organization. If you feel like we are a good fit for you, there are several ways you can give: 

  1. Simply click here to make a donation online. 
    We are so thankful for our generous donors. You can give this one time or even select a monthly amount for ongoing support.

  2. Sign up for AmazonSmile. Many of the gifts you are planning to purchase this holiday season qualify for AmazonSmile. Simply go to smile.amazon.com, select Feed the Need Missions as your default organization, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to us.
  1. Check with your employer to see if they match donations. This can double or even triple the financial donations or even volunteer hours you generously give to Feed the Need Missions! Search here to see if this is something your employer offers or check with your HR department and ask about matching employee donations.
  1. Give through other revenues. Take a look at our Ways to Give page to learn more about giving to Feed the Need Missions through stocks, planned giving, and more. And feel free to contact us if you have any questions about these various ways to make a difference in our communities.
When you gather at the Thanksgiving table this year, gratitude will certainly be a theme on the minds of both you and your loved ones. From saying a blessing over your Thanksgiving meal to reflecting on all you have, Thanksgiving prayers can be a wonderful way to let God — and your family — know how blessed you feel.

As Thanksgiving draws near, let’s remember that gratitude is something we should pursue always, not just on any one particular day. Let’s be grateful for the things the Lord has given us, not just for Thanksgiving, but every day. If you haven’t begun praying together during a meal or at bedtime, now is the time to start. 

We are incredibly grateful and thankful for those involved in Feed the Need Missions. What are you thankful for this year? 

Here’s a prayer for you to pray, but also this is the prayer of our hearts at Feed the Need Missions to those we serve and our volunteers. Millions of people across the globe live in difficult and trying conditions. It’s easy to forget the lack of freedom that so many others face on a daily basis. This Thanksgiving prayer helps put the focus on the Heavenly Father who has given you and your family so much.
“Father, today we give thanks for all the blessings You have given us. We’re safe from harm, we have food to eat and despite the challenges in our lives, we know that we are blessed. One of the things we’re most grateful for is Christ’s finished work on the cross.”

May you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. 
Let us know how we can pray for you.