Dignity Serves promotes a fundamentally different view of helping others than what tends to be practiced. It’s not about setting up the conditions for a transaction – where needs and assets are catalogued and matched for short term results. It’s about setting up the conditions for a relationship – where assets are shared for godly purposes. In these types of relationships, there is dignity, there is giving and receiving, there is interdependence, there is love, and there is no shame. These are the building blocks of long-term impact and transformation.
Having a different aim, Dignity Serves requires a different disposition towards people in need. Firstly, we must embrace the fact that the ‘people in need’ are you and me. We are all absolutely dependent on God. That is our common ground. God is sufficiently gracious to meet all of our needs and his primary agents for doing so are human beings – namely, you and me. So our task, in serving others, is simply to share the gifts that God gives us with others and allow others to share their gifts with us. When we do so in the context of a godly relationship, we serve with dignity.
So Dignity Serves walks you through six such gifts of God that can be shared with others in dignified ways. Each gift is elucidated in a succinct principle that helps you share this gift in different contexts. As a whole, the six principles will help you more deeply enjoy your dependence on God so that you can you can build healthier, more dignified relationships with others. In these relationships, both your needs and those you hope to help are met.
The gifts of God that are shared in serving and a principle that facilitates the sharing of these gifts are found below. These are followed by the lesson titles of Dignity Serves. Each lesson answers fundamental questions about God, people, and serving with dignity.
- Dignity: All people bear the image of God (Lesson One: The Importance of People)
- Assets: All people have something to offer (Lesson Two: The Realization of Assets)
- Presence: The closer to the problem, the closer to the solution (Lesson Three: The Relevance of Place)
- Grace: The greater the cultural difference, the longer the time to trust (Lesson Four: The Power of Structures)
- Promise: Our desired impact should be matched with commitment (Lesson Five: The Impact of Commitment)
- Purpose: People are more important than change (Lesson Six: The Promise of Change)
Watch video above. In the video there is a quote from a homeless man in Orlando that just wanted to go to a church that needed him.
Think of a time in your life when you felt unwanted or not needed. What factors contributed to you feeling this way? How have people helped you feel more needed?
Consider someone else in your community or church that may feel unwanted presently. What are some ways that you might be able to invite their participation?