10 Ways You Can Live Out the Gospel in Your Community

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says to go share the gospel with all the nations. While you may be called to international missions, following Jesus’ command could mean living out the gospel right here in your own community. Here are some ways you can be a light in Austin:

1. Visit with Senior Citizens

Many residents in nursing homes don’t get visitors, making it the perfect place to go. While they love just seeing a smiling face, consider taking some cards with you and passing them out as you greet the residents. The card will serve as a reminder that you cared enough to come visit them. Or if you’re an animal lover, volunteer with Therapy Pet Pals of Texas, which uses therapy dogs to improve the quality of life of residents in assisted living facilities.

The elderly are often the most neglected demographic in the community. Show love to Austin's seniors by visiting nursing homes or volunteering to help the homebound.
The elderly are often the most neglected demographic in the community. Show love to Austin’s seniors by visiting nursing homes or volunteering to help the homebound.

2. Cook or Clean at Your Local Homeless Shelter

Many homeless shelters rely on volunteers to keep them running; this may involve serving food or helping to clean the facility. Other times, homeless shelter clients could just use a listening ear. In Austin, consider volunteering with the Trinity Center on E. 7th Street which serves the downtown homeless population.

3. Volunteer at a Nearby Hospital

Most hospitals cannot get enough volunteers. Even if you do not have the time to volunteer regularly, go to the hospital and take a look around. Spend a few minutes in almost any waiting room and you will find people that need someone to pray with them. If you want to take something with you, then consider a pocket full of change because many anxious families are living out of vending machines.

4. Mentor or Serve as a Teacher Aide

Spend some time listening to a child read through a mentoring program or become an aide to a teacher who could use an extra hand around the classroom. Even if you can’t overtly share your faith in a public school setting, by demonstrating care and compassion, you can be a light in the local community.

5. Help the Incarcerated

There are several prison ministries in the Austin area that serve the capital city’s incarcerated population. One of these is Kairos of Texas, which strives to share the love of Christ with prisoners in hopes that it will transform lives.

6. Serve at Senior Citizen Centers

Senior citizen activity centers are a place for the community’s elderly population to gather, eat, and even play games together. There are several programs that rely on the help of volunteers to coordinate meals and activities. Usually you will find a great game of Dominoes or Bingo going on, so join in the fun.

7. Give the Homebound a Hand

The homebound often receive very few visitors, but could often use an extra hand around the house. If you are the handy type, consider volunteering with Drive a Senior, which helps Austin-area elderly with home maintenance needs like light yard work and simple things, like changing smoke alarm batteries. Through this organization, you can also volunteer to drive seniors to medical appointments or to the grocery store on a regular basis.

Local hospitals offer plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
Local hospitals offer plenty of opportunities to volunteer.

8. Buy Someone Groceries

Walk through the aisles at your local grocery store, and you will find people sweating over having enough money to pay for even the necessities. Wait and the Lord may show you someone to bless by stepping in front of them in line and paying for their groceries.

9. Say Hello to Your Neighbors

Many people don’t take the time to get to know their neighbors. The next time your neighbors are outside, stop and introduce yourself and ask them what you can do to help them. You can even invite them over for dinner or bake them treats occasionally.

10.  Be a Light in Your Workplace

Living out the gospel in your workplace can be one of the most challenging things we are called to do. Instead of going to work with a rotten attitude, try showing the spirit of love to your co-workers. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a change of attitude can make in your office.



Ways You Can Serve in the Austin Community

Austin is a close-knit community of neighbors who work together and will gladly lend a helping hand to those in need. That spirit of community service is part of what makes Austin such a wonderful place to live. With so many wonderful options to give back, it’s easy to live out the Bible’s command to serve one another through love (Galatians 5:13). Here are just a few examples of ways you can get involved in serving the Austin community:

Sort Through Food Donations

At Central Texas Food Bank, volunteers are always needed to sort through food donations. The food bank relies heavily on volunteers to sort through the massive piles of donations in their warehouse and pull out what is salvageable. They have an extremely organized volunteer program with flexible shifts you can choose on short notice, and ongoing group volunteer programs for families and organizations.

Match an Inmate with an Interesting Book

The Inside Books Project works hard to promote literacy to the Texan inmate population, by providing inmates with books to read. Volunteers read the nearly 1500 inmate letter requests each month, choose an appropriate book from the thousands of catalogued donations, and prepare the mailing which includes a personal note.

Inside Books Project promotes literacy among Austin's inmate population.
Inside Books Project promotes literacy among Austin’s inmate population.

Mentor a Refugee New to Austin

Caritas of Austin is a non-profit organization that reaches out to the homeless members of the Austin community, providing housing, food, employment and education services. Volunteers are also needed to help newly immigrated refugees and refugee families adjust to life in Austin. This could include help with daily tasks (transportation, finding employment, etc.), as well as mentoring and helping with English. This is a great opportunity for an individual with time and motivation to make an immediate, direct impact. Families can also mentor families, providing your whole family a meaningful opportunity to serve together.

Foster a Shelter Dog

Austin Dog Alliance provides extensive education and training services to Austin area dog owners. They also train and match service dogs with veterans and people in need. They first rescue a promising shelter dog, giving him a new chance at life, and then provide him with the care and training required to become an effective service dog. Austin Dog Alliance relies on volunteers to provide caring foster environments as dogs transition from shelters to the training program. This opportunity provides you and your family with the chance to save the life of a dog, and prepare him to faithfully serve his companion for years to come.

Foster a future service dog through the Austin Dog Alliance.
Foster a future service dog through the Austin Dog Alliance.

Build a Bike for a Neighbor in Need

Yellow Bike is a non-profit bicycle shop which provides parts, repair and bike repair education for the Austin community. Their skilled volunteers also build bicycles and donate them directly to low-income Austin adults and children in need of reliable transportation. Yellow Bike invites you to come and help build with them, even if you know nothing about bicycle repair. They are happy to teach you a new skill, and offer you the opportunity to pay it forward as you’re learning.

Thanks to Moonraker Marketing (find on Tumblr & Twitter) for partnering with us to share these great service opportunities. This Austin TX SEO company helps businesses optimize their websites to boost organic search rankings. Whether you own a local business or a nationwide company, find out how your business can benefit from digital marketing.