We might think that nothing good can come from our having to social distance from others. But here’s the truth: while the stay-at-home mandate is significantly interfering with our in-person contact, it is giving us new opportunities to minister to others.
Healthy relationships are important to our emotional and physical well-being. Especially during a global health crisis like COVID-19, which feels so incredibly isolating. Here are seven ways to safely reach out to encourage and connect with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers — even strangers. Your thoughtful gestures might be just the hope they need to keep going!
If you can think of other ways to brighten the days of others, please share your suggestions in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!
For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of God’s truth and power. We offer you our accumulated knowledge and research to help you find truth and encouragement to live a healthy and whole life in Christ.
Seven Meaningful Ways to Connect and Minister to Others
>> Schedule video chats. Online apps like Zoom make it possible to bring groups of people together from multiple locations. You can use it for family chats, or to play games with your friends. Or use it to help a schoolmate with his homework. The possibilities are endless with this timely technology.
>> Write handwritten notes. Whether mailed or delivered to someone’s house, handwritten notes are deeply appreciated. The more personal you make your note, the more meaningful it will feel to your recipient.
>> Do helpful tasks. Perhaps mow your neighbor’s yard, or retrieve your neighbor’s trash can after the trash gets picked up. This would even be a great gesture for a neighbor you’ve never met! What a great time to do so.
>> Order online gifts. Order a mug and coffee from your favorite online retailer to be delivered to someone special. You may not be able to meet in person for coffee, but this gift will rock their day. If you can, shop local!
>> Deliver homemade goodies or meals, or grocery shop. What a terrific way to support medical staff working overtime, parents now juggling work and homeschooling, a friend who has lost her job, or a neighbor who lives alone. Want to really blow their minds? Don’t let them pay you for the grocery costs!
>> Publicly display encouragement. You could decorate your yard with homemade signs that shout, “Have a nice day!” or “Stay positive!” Or, if you have chalk, get busy adding positivity to your street or sidewalk! Some people are even tying white bows around their yard trees to show healthcare workers that they are appreciated. Love!
>> Honor special events. It’s discouraging that some of us are having to forgo birthday parties, graduations, and other highly anticipated events. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! Here are just a few ways people have been creatively getting around the imposed social isolation: drive-by birthdays, virtual dates, online proms, weddings, and even this jaw-dropping gesture. Is that amazing, or what?!
Keep these tips in mind:
- Be personal. Choose a method that will feel special to your recipient.
- Be a good listener. Don’t assume you understand what others are feeling. Ask considerate questions, and listen well.
- Respect others’ boundaries. Some people have more fear and stress than others. So however you decide to help and comfort others, respect their boundaries. This will really show that you care!