Playing to Your Strengths

“Invariably, when I go through the line at the grocery store, someone looks at my cart stuffed full of grill-out supplies and says,  ‘You must be throwing a party.’ And every time, my response is the same. ‘Yep, we are! And you’re invited!'”

Larry serves Feed the Need Missions as a purchasing volunteer, shopping prior to the site meeting each week to ensure all supplies and ingredients are up to par and ready to go for serving the community.

Larry’s commanding voice earns him attention from other shoppers and staff in the grocery store. “Other people can hear me two or three aisles down, giving out the details about what I’m doing and why.”

The platform he has been given via the volume of his voice (and the groceries in the cart) is something he uses to his advantage. Capitalizing on the curiosity around him, Larry takes the opportunity to be invitational and informational. And the impact is incredible.

A “Chance” Encounter

“About a month ago, standing in line, I was checking out, explaining Feed the Need mission and vision to the cashier. I was explaining that we simply feed our community, and share the love of Christ. A gentleman behind me blurted out, ‘I want to come!’ I replied that at our sites, everyone is welcome. We do meet physical needs, sure, but our hope is to relieve all kinds of hunger, from empty bellies to a need for companionship, purpose and prayer. Seconds later he shoved a $20 bill in to my hand and said, ‘Let me help you buys your groceries tonight.'”

“The story didn’t end there. Not long after, the same gentleman showed up at the site. ‘Do you remember me?’ he asked. I grinned. Of course I did. ‘I decided I want to come help, if you could use me.’ It was incredible how the Lord used a chance encounter at the grocery to connect us and mobilize this man to give and serve with me.”

“We visited, talked about Jesus, and I shared more about what we do at Feed the Need Missions. I learned a precious lesson that day. You just never know who’s listening.”

We love how Larry is embracing his role, and his unique personality, making himself available to be used by the Lord and draw people to the sites.

An Open Invitation

Our challenge for you today is to think about how God has uniquely equipped YOU to serve, to give. Maybe you could help support our mission through a twenty dollar donation, like the man in the grocery store. Maybe it’s time to visit a site and find out what we’re all about. If you’re ready to put feet to your faith, activate your own unique skills for the Kingdom of God and serve your community, we want you to know you’re invited to the Feed the Need family! We would love to meet you, pray for you, and help you find the perfect place to plug in! Check out our locations, find one near you—we can’t wait to meet you!

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.

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.

 

Church Volunteerism in the Age of COVID-19

Even in the best of times, churches have to work creatively and proactively to keep volunteerism up.

In fact, 50% of pastors feel like this is the biggest challenge they face. One unique advantage churches have over other nonprofit organizations is the ongoing sense of connection fostered by weekly face-to-face interaction in classes, events, worship and other activities.
In 2020, however, that advantage has dwindled. 
Unprecedented closures due to COVID-19, decreased programming and staff, and long-term social distancing plans have made it difficult to maintain that sense of connection. Nearly half of worshippers are now attending an online churchservice. With the decreased accountability and visibility come the temptations to disengage, to shop around, and to become spectators rather than participants.
Wouldn’t it be nice, in times like these, if someone outside your organization could step in and help? 
That’s exactly what Feed the Need Missions loves to do – empower and activate the Church to meet physical and spiritual needs. As a faith-based nonprofit organization, we have been partnering with local churches and harnessing the power of volunteers for a decade. Despite the COVID outbreak, we have seen nearly 200 volunteers show up each week to serve rural communities across Texas. 
Our President, Jonah Beyer, often consults with pastors looking to grow a passion for service among congregants. The following are a few suggestions – and some practical solutions – from our family of faith to yours. 


Volunteer Opportunities Are Vital For Church Growth

If you haven’t embraced volunteerism as a huge opportunity for church growth, this is step one. The impacts begin with the individual and blossom outward to affect the temperature of the entire church body. The process begins as active volunteers begin to experience personal benefits: 
  • They feel purpose and belonging
  • They cultivate new friendships
  • They discover gifts and passions
  • They experience the satisfaction that comes with helping and influencing others
From this experience springs loyalty to the church and personal ownership over its success. These individuals are no longer just spectators. They show up faithfully each week, ready to invest in the overall vision. 
This translates into great things for the church as a whole. Staff members experience less burnout as they give away ministry. And as members attend services regularly, they mature spiritually. Part of this maturity includes members replicating themselves and giving away ministry to others. 
Ultimately, then, enabling volunteerism promotes overall church growth.

Practical Ways to Cultivate the Volunteer Spirit

Once you understand why building up volunteers is important, you can get to work making it happen. Below are three postures and practices we suggest for building a successful volunteer base. 


 1. Make It Personal

If you want to grow volunteerism, here is a rule of thumb: people over projects. “People are one of our greatest assets,” Jonah shares. “But when the task becomes more important than the person, you lose your ability to lead.” In short, make sure that the leader at the helm is someone who is personable. Don’t delegate and disappear. Check in with people. Get to know them. Listen to their stories, experiences, and suggestions. Celebrate them. Thank them. Investing in volunteers, rather than just using people up as a resource, will build excitement and loyalty into your team. 


 2. Make It Meaningful

People don’t want to do busy work. They don’t get excited about doing “anyone can handle this” jobs. Trying to make it sound innocuous may be tempting, but it will not incite interest and passion – or attract the right people. What will, however, is an understanding of the overall vision and the impact it will have. Help volunteers see that, big or small, visible or behind the scenes, their offering is changing lives for Jesus Christ. In our annual Gobble Kits effort, for example, volunteers aren’t just handing out food or collecting canned goods. They are providing hope by donating Thanksgiving meals to families who are in desperate need in their own communities. They are the hands and feet of Jesus. The way we frame things makes all the difference in the attitudes of the people we lead. 


3. Build a Partnership 

With many churches still planning programming conservatively these days, your staff may simply not have the bandwidth to organize a project or mission right now. If this is the case, find a local mission you love and build a partnership. This way, the facility, details and supplies are handled by a third party; you can simply show up, serve and grow together. Feed the Need Missions would love to help you begin the process of engaging and developing a volunteer spirit in your church. 
Feed the Need Missions Church partnerships take many forms:

  • Home groups or classes choose a night to serve dinner at one of our weekly sites 
  • Mini-local mission trips take place for ministry areas to practice testimony sharing, Gospel sharing, and intercessory prayer
  • Members with administrative skill serve as site coordinators and church ambassadors
  • Church facilities are opened as a donation supply pick-up centers for seasonal missions


Partner with Feed the Need Missions

If you are interested in how a partnership with Feed the Need Missions might benefit your church, we’d love to connect. Let us host a Church and Burgers informational event at your location. Here, we share our vision and cook a delicious, free meal for your congregation. You can also schedule a strategy session with our president, Jonah Beyer or visit our website

The ushering in of fall brings many a sense of joy and thanksgiving. For Debbie and Lewis, our Giddings site leaders, this is no exception. This season has brought special change for them that we are excited to share. The Giddings site is newly reopened with a brand new location and schedule!

“I’m so excited that we are open,” Debbie shared. She shared that she is eager to see the ministry blossom here over the coming weeks. “Once we have the consistency of being there week after week, the neighborhood will be able to trust that we will continue to be there weekly,” she shared. “Since everything is so different, it’s giving everyone a chance to get more familiar with a new way of doing things.”

Come check out the new site this Sunday! Serve with us and stay for a burger. Set up begins at 4:30 p.m. and dinner service begins at 5:30 p.m. Visit our updated Giddings site page and stay up to date with the latest news and updates!

Our new Feed the Need Giddings Address:
Simmang Park
801-899 W Washington Street
Giddings, TX 78942

“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

Feed the Need Missions has always strived to love unconditionally. Our ministry was started to serve ALL who come, no matter what. Our hearts want to echo 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” In fact, this is not just a calling to us as a ministry, it is a calling to all Christians.

It is clear that evil is present. We can see it in the form of racial oppression, political divides, and using patriotism and religion as license to take action out of anger or personal gain. This is the chaos that Satan creates, thrives in, and conquers all who allow it to enter. This is not the time for the Church to be silent. This is the time to show the love of Jesus, not the judgement of men, to all people.

Do not confuse Black Lives Matter with putting one race over another. This isn’t the point. The point is that Black Americans are hurting and need support right now. If you have multiple children and one of them tells you “I love you,” you don’t respond with “well I love all my children, not just you!” Even though this is true, this is not what our brothers and sisters need to hear in this moment. They need to hear that we love them, and that we’re here to stand in the gap for them and be the voice that needs to be heard in solidarity alongside of them.

What can I do? This is often the first question we ask. Many times we don’t get the answer we want or it is too hard to find out, it’s easier to try to ignore it and sit idle and return to things that feel comfortable.

But when you are comfortable there is no progress, there is no fight, there is no battle. The only thing defeated in comfort is the spirit of love that lives inside you. It’s time for that spirit to stay alive. Not just for a short time, but until Jesus comes back.

Start getting uncomfortable. Here are two things you can begin to do today.

    1. PRAY. Time and time again, Jesus shows up when we ask. Pray for our Black friends and neighbors. Pray our eyes would be open to the injustices happening, big and small. Pray that your heart would be empathetic and broken for the pain that people have experienced. Pray for direction in what steps you can take to make a difference.
    2. LEARN. There are so many great resources out there – books, voices, etc. Here is a great place to start. Listen to your Black friends. Talk with others about what you are learning. Have uncomfortable conversations. Read books that make you rethink about what you were taught about race. Try to truly understand what the changes and policies people are fighting for, not just what you hear from sensational news headlines. And approach all of this with a humble heart. It is okay if you were wrong, and it is okay to change.

When you start diving in and really focus on these two things, the actions you need to take will come to light. Don’t be idle, this is important.

In this time of racial injustice, we need to let God’s love show through and guide all of us to unity. The worst thing that can happen is that when the uproar has quieted, we go right back into the comfortable lives we were living before. Don’t let that happen, love is difficult, love is often awkward, love is uncomfortable. Do the hard thing. Love.

To our Black brothers and sisters, we love you and we want to support you. We want to learn and listen. We ask for your forgiveness in places we have failed, and we are willing to do the work to make things better.

There is nothing special about Feed the Need Missions. We just try to instill doing small things well again and again. God doesn’t need superstars, he needs ordinary people that He can do extraordinary acts through.

We hope you join us in praying and learning. We can’t wait to see where God leads us to love others.

Earlier this year, the Justin site was blessed with a young lady named Caylie, who was eager to volunteer. As a part of her school curriculum, she was required to complete service work in her community. She heard about Feed the Need Missions through her church and wanted to get involved.

Many seniors serve through their high school program, like Caylie, for service work with Feed the Need Missions. We appreciate the out pour of seniors that choose to complete their service hours by serving with us.

Caylie started to come to the site and help out, and became an official volunteer in February after completing the online orientation. Since then, she has been faithful to lend a hand, pray with others, offer her home and recruit family members to participate in this mission.

Congratulations to Caylie and the Class of 2020. In the fall, Caylie will attend The Culinary Institute of America to pursue a degree in Food Business Management and Culinary Arts. We are so proud of her accomplishments and other senior graduates.

As Shawna was trying to formulate her words about how Feed the Need Missions has helped her grow she realized that it was in so many different ways and that the impact was far greater than she thought. “I’m a single mom and have been coming to the Justin site for awhile and it has helped me by providing a meal for my children so are monies can stretch a little farther,” she said.

When asked how Feed the Need Missions has helped her personally she said “Because of you guys I have more confidence in myself. You have helped me understand more of what walking out my faith and being a Christian is. I am now serving and have a leader role at the site which I never thought I would be able to do and I can! We all can,” she said.

Feed the Need Missions has brought Tonie and her family lots of joy. Being a mom of two little girls, one on the way, and married, her family is able to serve together. “We’ve been able to teach our girls about giving to others and also for them to not have a fear of talking and praying with people.” Tonie said.

Being involved in the community is important to Tonie, but what is most important is God and teaching her children to love others. “We are God’s children and we need to take care of each other mentally, physically and spiritually. Feed the Need Missions allows us to serve together and build relationships in the community. I love the simplicity of it.” she said.

Feed the Need Missions’ ministry is simply to feed people. We provide a hot meal on a weekly basis in communities across Texas. This weekly meal allows us to build long-lasting relationships and proclaim the love and message of Christ. Be a legacy like Tonie and get involved today!

I was born into a world of fear and spent my entire childhood, teenage years, and most of my twenties trying to find a way out of my dilemma. I knew that fear was not natural and that the side effects were debilitating, but it seemed to have an unrelenting grip upon my mind. I was a prisoner. I managed to get through high school and one year of college but I continually felt insecure. I did not have any confidence and was hopeless about the future. I suffered numerous bouts of depression that prevented me from completing the advanced degree I was pursuing.

I instinctively knew that prayer was the only way out of my desperation. If God did exist I needed to know now! And to transform my life into something different.

I married young and started having children and thankfully my husband was a believer. He knew what our family needed so we moved to Texas to start over. That was my beginning of desperation and loneliness.

Church became essential in my life. I accepted Christ while walking through a dark time with my son sick and in the hospital and watching His healing touch heal my boy day by day. I gave my life to Christ and watched my life transform.

It hasn’t been easy! In fact I’m currently working for Feed the Need Missions where we feed people physically and spiritually. I have learned through this process of serving others that God’s love is way more than we can ever fathom, but we can try and be more like Him and walk out our faith by serving others. I’ve learned to desperately call upon Him, and to teach others about Jesus.

In the New Testament, the Greek word for transformation is metamorphosis. The definition of metamorphosis is “a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.”

A caterpillar is born already possessing the life that will cause it to become a butterfly. Although an outward change does occur during metamorphosis, it’s the result of an organic change from within. A caterpillar doesn’t put on a butterfly costume or strive to act like a butterfly. As long as it eats, a caterpillar can trust in the metabolic process to assimilate those nutrients into its body and cause it to grow. Eventually, it undergoes metamorphosis and becomes a butterfly. Have you made that change from within?