Passing Out Baskets & Hope

Our church has a way creative outreach we do every month called 3rd Serve. Our pastors have the philosophy that we need to stop coming to church and go BE the church instead.

(No, they don’t mean we should actually stop coming to church services, but that if all we do is hang out in a holy huddle, we have missed the point of our faith.)

And we don’t mean only allowing those who don’t know Jesus yet to come on our turf to take advantage of programs we offer. We mean going onto their turf. Meeting them where they live.

We’ve held services in the park and then blanketed the community inviting people through fliers. We’ve met a church to pray and then headed out to look for ways to bless someone God lays on our heart: pay for their gas or food, carry their packages up the post office stairs.

This month’s 3rd serve was an Easter Basket Blitz.

We collected money from our congregation and then over 100 of us met Saturday to shop for and deliver all the fixins for an Easter dinner (and Easter baskets for any kids) to families whose names we had gotten from Social Services.

Our family visited some single moms in the low-income housing project in our town. I know it blessed them. But it blessed us more.

We were able to tell them about other opportunities at our church including a free medical clinic, community garden with free produce and kids’ programs too. We also invited them to our Easter service held at the high school. (We have three services to on the weekends to fit everyone in but want to be all together for Easter and also allow room for the many visitors that day.)

And most importantly, we asked how we could be praying for them and then stopped to pray with them before we left.

You don’t need to belong to a church that has a 3rd Serve to reach out.

Why not do a random act of kindness or do without something you want (such as that latte or manicure or magazine) to buy something for someone else.

Easter week is the perfect time to do it. I’d love to hear any ideas you have!

Happy Holy Week!



  1. Thank you for sharing this! I and another friend sat down at our computer this morning not sure what direction to take. There is a low-income neighborhood that has been placed on our hearts and we want to go door to door and invite these women to a bible study (probably on the book of Mark) We happened to come across your blog and have pulled some ideas from what we have read. We are going to get some baskets and fill them with just little things….but the whole idea of not going empty handed..we took from your blog. We are not really all that sure what we are doing yet but we are thankful that we can across your blog that offered us another piece to our puzzle. Thank you!

  2. Dear Karen,
    I loved what your church community does. I wanted to share what my sister’s Bible study group did for us this past week. My mother passed away unexpectedly last Wedensday night. We have been in shock since it happened. By the grace of God, we got through packing up her rental house, the visitation and then the funeral. Somehow, each of her children and one of her grandchildren was able to get up and give their own eulogy about mom. At the end of her celebration of life service, we were given a basket from these precious women and inside were green plastic bags with our mother’s favorite flower seeds attached. On the front of the bag, was a picture of our mom and the date of her birth/death. Our mom loved flowers and plants so much. There was a message typed that said “Go out and make the world a better place by planting these seeds and then be a blessing to someone who needs you.”
    Everyone was so touched. When I asked the ladies what they called their project, they said it was “Seeds of Hope.” How precious was that act of kindness? Now, when the flowers bloom, we will have yet another reminder of our precious mom.

    As an added note today: please call your mom, if possible give her an extra hug because you never know when it might be too late. I thank God for the week leading up to her passing, each one of us was able to spend quality time with her and she was not alone when she went to meet her saviour. God is so good even in the most difficult times.

    God Bless and Hapoy Easter to all of you.

  3. Karen…I love what your church community does…I am going to find a way to emulate that action as an individual and reach out to a family this Easter! Thanks for sharing! The season of Lent should always lead us to share our joy of Easter!

  4. This is wonderful! Is there anyway to set a medical or nurse clinic in their community center and also have services or a Bible study? Keep reaching people who don’t know Jesus.
    Debbie F.

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