Changing Evangelism Rotating Header Image

Assist with Compassion

We should require some type of compassionate activity among our movements at their local address.  We are encouraged by the energy being given to this already (e.g. GAiN helping the Campus Ministry pack one million meals for Haiti at Big Break), but we have far to go to touch our local movements. For the health of our own hearts, for our perceived image on our campuses, and for the simple fact that Jesus did this, we need to develop expertise in this non-traditional focus. As we grow in demonstrating the love of God, we expect more opportunities to express the love of God.

When thinking through this other side of the gospel, try to think in terms of JAC – Justice, Advocacy, and Compassion.

• Justice – how can you fight for justice in your society, righting things that are wrong in the world around you?

• Advocacy – how can you fight on behalf of those who can’t fight for themselves? Think of issues like slavery, prostitution, etc.

• Compassion – these issues are dealing primarily with those who are hurting in ways that we can help.

Here are some ideas to get you started on your campus:

• Hold a “Compassion Week” once a semester. Focus talks, discussions, planning, and efforts toward intentional acts of compassion on and off the campus. You can even watch the movie Evan Almighty and discuss “Acts of Random Kindness”–or ARK.

• Invite guest speakers who are leaders in compassionate efforts in the US and around the world. Use these inspiring personalities to spark others to carry compassion into their world.

• Hold a meal packing event on your campus like we did at Big Break.

• Hold a humanitarian aid collection on campus. For example, a local food bank can give you stories and details about how they assist the poor in the area– casting a clear vision of the need. Then share the list of items needed. Or make it a financial collection for one specific item (like water filters) and set a number goal.

• Hold a bingo night at a local rest home. Many senior citizens long for new and exciting events– and for company. Bring prizes for the bingo winners (warm socks, hankies, chocolate, Christian books, etc.) and let them choose their prize from a prize table. Play the game with the residents and get to know them.

• Minister to men and women who serve the community. For example, hold a dinner for firemen and their wives where they can focus on their spouses (maybe even get some ideas from Family Life) and also feel appreciated by the community.

• Help with an immediate need. If a big snowfall hits your town, go shovel sidewalks.

• Volunteer to read to small children at a local library.

• Partner with a local church to offer free baby sitting around Christmas time. (All parents need time to shop for Christmas.) This offer could be extended to offer free baby sitting so parents can have a “date night.”

• Coordinate with a local hospital to visit the children’s ward armed with smiles, storybooks, skits, puppets, and fun!

• Work with a local church to be a guest speaker at a Sunday school. The teachers need a break and you can be a real inspiration to the children! You can do the same thing at the local youth group meetings.

• Join a local walk-a-thon or marathon as a group to raise money for a cause. Team shirts can show people who you are.

• Write to prisoners. Ministries like Prison Fellowship may have some additional ideas on how to minister to prisoners. (

• Raise money for the local pregnancy center. Some of these centers have a fund raiser where people take home a baby bottle and fill it with change and return them on a set date.

• Volunteer at the local Humane Society to clean cages and walk dogs.

• Ride along with Meals on Wheels delivery people and visit with the shut ins. You can also arrive earlier and fix the meals for them at the church.

• Write letters and send packages to soldiers overseas. There are several websites that give addresses and explain how to do this so your mail goes through safely. (

• Give gifts to the children of prisoners. Each Christmas, Angel Tree helps churches and other organizations give life-changing gifts locally to the children of inmates. ( You can even serve as a mentor to the children who receive the gifts!

• Ring the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas. As you ring the bell, sing carols and other Christian songs. Spread the cheer– or just make them laugh.

• Collect supplies for the local homeless shelter or battered women’s shelter. Places like these often have a list of Items they need like soap, towels, canned foods, and more. Help those in urgent need in your community.

• Join a Habitat for Humanity construction project in your area.

• Serve as tutors for an “after school program.” Some kids need help with their homework– other kids just need a safe place to stay until their parents come home from work. All of them just want to know someone cares.

• Partner with a church to host a day of caring for single mothers.  Childcare could be provided while mothers are treated to the services of their hosts: car washes and maintenance, haircuts, mini money management class, scrap booking corner, gift certificates, meal, etc.

• Reach out to international students by hosting a holiday gathering, game night, English lessons, or even rides to Wal-Mart.  International students often experience loneliness, struggle to understand the new culture, and have a hard time getting to know American classmates.

• Work with International Justice Mission to help establish a local chapter or hold an event. (The USCM is in the process of forming an official partnership with them.)

• Read a book – The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns is a great one!

• Listen to Podcasts on compassion from people like Tim Keller, Marc Driscoll, etc.

• Check out and utilize some of the ideas there—including the program “40 Days of Water.”

• Show the film, Invisible Children on campus and hold discussions afterwards. See what ideas surface from students after that.

• Make a loan to someone who really needs it at – it is a great way to put $25 to work in ways you never thought possible.

• On twitter, follow organizations like International Justice Mission, World Vision, Compassion International, Global Aid Network.

• Volunteer your time at a local thrift store.

To read other people’s comments or enter your own please click here.