Tag Archives: giving back

Four Reasons It’s Great to Sow Into Your Local Church

I’m a big believer in spreading the Gospel and building the Kingdom of God. Why? Because it’s part of what we’re called to do as followers of Jesus. I’m also a big believer that ANYONE and EVERYONE can do that. There are so many ways to take part in those things, and the best place to start is within your local church. I LOVE the local church. Every small-town church, every multi-site church, every megachurch – they all are sowing into the everyday lives of people just like you and me, and I believe it’s one of our greatest gifts to be able to sow back into the local church. How will we do this? We are Biblically called to tithe, but I think it’s just as important to find a place to serve. Why? Well, here are a few of my favorite reasons:

It’s easy! I don’t know a single church in existence that doesn’t have a job for a willing volunteer. Seriously, a lot of people think the only thing you can volunteer to do with work with kids. That just isn’t true. If that’s not your ministry of choice, just ask a pastor or ministry area leader how you can help, and they will direct you! Be sure to communicate your level of commitment – it’s okay if it’s low! A cheerful helper always has a place at a church.

It builds community and relationships. If you’re new to your church and looking for a way to get connected, giving your time to a ministry is a wonderful way to start. You’re rarely a lone volunteer on a project, and it’ll immediately connect you to people in various areas of leadership or service. If you aren’t new to your church, but you haven’t found a tribe there yet, get plugged in to a ministry, like being a greeter, a musical worship volunteer, or join the technology team! I’d bet you don’t have to be super-skilled in technology (or any other area) to be able to help out, or learn as you go.

It helps the wider community. Many churches have volunteer opportunities that are more outreach-centered. Ask what regular contributions your church makes to local ministries or organizations. I’ll bet your church partners at some level with helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, or providing for needy children.

It’s good to see the Church isn’t perfect. The Church (yes – even the “Big-C Church”) is comprised of – you guessed it! – imperfect humans. I think it’s important to get to know your church leaders on a personal level, working alongside them to build the Kingdom. One of the biggest reasons that I think it’s important is to dispel the often incorrect idea that church leaders are superheroes, or even worse, somehow perfect. We all have bad days, we all spill our coffee from time to time, and we all sometimes cry at  stupid Hallmark commercials. Pastors and ministry leaders included!

So if you’ve been holding off on giving your time and talents to the local church, I implore you to give it a try. There’s never a bad time to sow into a church community!

So Long, Sweet Briar.

My heart is breaking. I can’t imagine how I would feel, as a 20-or-so year old, finding out that my college, my home, my world, is closing. Sweet Briar College, a women’s institution founded in 1901, is closing its doors, due to “insurmountable financial challenges”.

sweet briar

I know that during my time at Salem College, I lived in that bubble in a serious way. Yes, I was venturing out and about, and learning about my world and how I would contribute to it, but I was also surrounded by some of the most wonderful and inspiring women, living in an architectural (and sometimes cultural – in a good way) time capsule, and my world was revolving around classes and projects and events and meal times. I can’t imagine someone telling me that all of sudden, my education is in jeopardy, I have to find a new home, and I can’t come back to the place I love.


Luckily, I know that women’s colleges across the country are not closing their doors. They are preparing for more women to transfer in, and make the most of an experience that’s been forced on them. I know that Salem is probably not alone in preparing to welcome newcomers from Sweet Briar. We’ve had an anonymous alumna volunteer to pay the application fees of any Sweet Briar transfer applying for this coming fall. That’s huge, y’all.

I posted an article on Facebook yesterday about 10 other women’s colleges that are thriving in the midst of this sadness. They listed Sarah Lawrence College (which got a shout out in 10 Things I Hate About You), Salem College (my sweet, fantastic alma mater), Mills College, Simmons College, Bryn Mawr, Spelman College, College of St. Benedict, Mount Holyoke College, and Converse College. However, they didn’t add Hollins, Meredith, Agnes Scott, or Wellesley. And those are just the ones that I know off the top of my head and didn’t have to look up! Women’s colleges and universities are thriving all over the country, making women more and more awesome as we speak. I’m proud, ecstatic, and thrilled to be one of those women.

Now the next thing I say might get some pushback from even Salem graduates. But it needs to be addressed. Are you also sad that Sweet Briar is closing? Or that Randolph-Macon Women’s College became co-ed in 2007? Or that Peace College began admitting men in 2012, and then changed its name a couple of years later? There’s an easy way to help. Donate. Give.


I know, I know… you feel like there was one experience you didn’t feel was a positive one. Or maybe you feel like you were forced to stay there by a parent who told you that transferring wasn’t an option. Or maybe, like me, they don’t even offer your degree anymore, so why give? Those are selfish reasons. If other women are getting a great education, being shaped into incredible women, why not give for those women? Why not donate even a little bit for those women? Or so that your degree won’t be discontinued? Or that those crappy dorms can be updated? Anyone can donate to any college. There are annual funds, capital campaigns, tons of funds to donate to for every school. Your small gift can mean that one more woman can be set up for a successful and happy life. It’s that simple.