By Tremayne Manson

ServeRDU is when our church mobilizes its members in large numbers for one week of the year to participate in various projects throughout the Triangle as a tangible way of loving and blessing our community. For 2017, the theme for ServeRDU is “In RDU as it is in Heaven,” which has been an unofficial motto for our church this year and is based on the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. We desire for God’s will to be done — as it is in heaven — in our families, at our jobs, in our neighborhoods, and also among marginalized people in the Triangle.

ServeRDU is often viewed as a once-a-year community service event, and afterward many of our church members cease to engage in ministry in the community until the next ServeRDU. But, if we really think about it, does an annual one-time service event truly represent what Matthew 6:10 means by “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? Wouldn’t being involved year-round in ministering to the needs, both physical and spiritual, of people in our community be more in line with what we believe to be true about God’s will?

To be clear, we are not against one-time events; they can be a great way to engage with the community and to expose people in the community to our church. However, when it comes to community engagement, we believe that events like ServeRDU should have two purposes. First, they should celebrate long-term, ongoing partnerships between community organizations and our church. Second, they should help to catalyze year-round ministry opportunities for our members. If these two components are absent from our events, then we might be able to rejoice in one week of service but we will likely not have the gospel impact in our communities that we desire to have as a church.

We want you to participate in this year’s ServeRDU on July 23-30. Serve during the week with enthusiasm. But let’s not stop there. Let’s celebrate how God is at work in our communities, and consider how God may be directing us to engage our community throughout the year!

Let us continually ask God how we might be used by him to accomplish his will “In RDU as it is in Heaven.”