About “30 Days”
“True religion confronts earth with heaven and brings eternity to bear upon time. The messenger of Christ, though he speaks from God, must also, as the Quakers used to say, ‘speak to the condition’ of his hearers; otherwise, he will speak a language known only to himself. His message must be not only timeless, but timely. He must speak to his own generation.” – A. W. Tozer
How This All Got Started
In the generation since A. W. Tozer made the above observation, much of church-as-we-have-known-it has (for the most part) squandered enormous resources of time, money and energy speaking a language known only to itself. As a result, our millennial-focused Postmodern culture can’t hear us or understand what we are saying. We have ignored the universally understood “language of the Kingdom of God”; the language of God’s love and compassion, embodied in good deeds done in His Name on behalf of those in need around us. Somewhere along the line, we forgot that unconditional love is best seen in sacrificial service toward others. That is the essence of “30 Days And 30 Ways Of Doing Good.”
The Language of Love
Christian philosopher and apologist Ravi Zacharias posed what is, perhaps, the penultimate question of our day: “How do we reach a generation that ‘listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings’”? I believe the answer is by re-learning how to speak the “language of the Kingdom” – the language of unconditional love – and by once again becoming legendary for our good deeds. Our good deeds of unconditional love and service will enable our generation to listen with its eyes, to think with its feelings, and to have open hearts and open minds to the good news of the Kingdom of God.
“My Brother’s Keeper”
It’s a simple truth in life that where we begin is seldom where we end. Life changes as we learn and grow. A case in point. “30 Days and 30 Ways” started out several years ago as a project we initially called “My Brother’s Keeper.” The idea at the time was for a video project to demonstrate how Churches, businesses, ministries, agencies, and individuals throughout community could come together to help real people solve real problems of hunger, homelessness, unemployment and other practical issues which keep people stuck in their circumstances. Imagine not just highlighting problems in our community, but actually solving them one person and one problem at a time by serving others and speaking “the language of the Kingdom.” Sometimes the Kingdom of God tastes like a hot meal; feels like a warm blanket; comes in the form of a job offer, a Walmart gift card, a free car repair, a paid trip to the supermarket and a host of other simple acts of compassion and kindness which, together, speak “the language of love.” We even produced a promotional video to talk about the project (you’ll see it posted in the right-hand menu on this page.
But . . . . it soon became apparent that the original “My Brother’s Keeper” idea of a video project was more than we could accomplish based on where we were starting. There was a LOT more “groundwork” that needed to be done. Identifying critical issues. Engaging more people in the conversation. Discovering compelling stories that need to be told. Connecting with the many “unsung heroes” who labor 24/7 to serve those in need throughout our community. As a result, we put the original “My Brother’s Keeper” video project on hold while we pursued some important intermediate steps.
First, we produced a book entitled “The Least of These: The Role of Good Deeds In A Jesus-Shaped Spirituality,” written to make the case for the importance of personally engaging in good deeds as an expression of our faith. What we do is as important as what we believe. It makes no difference what we believe if what we believe makes no difference. It’s through our good deeds that our faith discovers hands and feet.
Second, we spent the better part of a year producing and broadcasting a weekly “Radio Roundtable” radio program, bringing together a wide variety of ministry leaders to discuss important issues (homelessness, food security, human trafficking, identity restoration, and more). My thanks to Tom Read and the American Christian Network for their flexibility in working to provide prime radio time for our Radio Roundtables. Those Podcasts will soon be available here.
Third, three years ago (2015), we created the first version of “30 Days And 30 Ways” as a Kindle e-book. That early version was very limited in scope, but it opened the door for many more contacts with amazing people doing amazing work among those in need throughout our community. That growing circle of contacts, particularly the members of the Spokane Homeless Coalition where I served on the Leadership Team for two years, enabled us to produce the latest edition of “30 Days And 30 Ways of Doing Good.” The new 2018 Spokane Edition represents a complete revision of that original work. The new print edition (also available as a Kindle e-book) contains 31 daily articles, written by people who are “boots-on-the-ground” when it comes to serving the marginalized throughout our community. These “unsung heroes” have also contributed the suggested action items, based on their experiences. Your Editor had the privilege of editing their amazing articles, and providing the “Daily Reflections.”
O.K. Now you’re up to date (as of 2018)! What comes next? We have several ideas for moving forward.
More Great Stories. We would like to see MORE great stories highlighting great examples of unconditional love expressed by serving others in need throughout our community. Discover how you, your church, your ministry, agency or service organization can contribute an article through our “Everybody Has A Story” project.
Updated Editions. We would like to use those great stories you submit for a regularly updated and revised edition of “30 Days And 30 Ways” (or a Volume 2).
A Movement. We would like to see “30 Days And 30 Ways” become a movement in our community, creating a greater awareness of needs in our community and challenging more people to get involved meeting needs, solving problems, and serving others. Challenge your church or service organization to do a month-long emphasis on serving others by going through the book together and discussing how to get involved. Encourage your Bible study or small group to go through the book together, and maybe even discover an opportunity to embrace an issue and serve as a group somewhere. See the book not as a destination or end-in-itself but as a starting point for an amazing journey into serving others and making our community a better place.
A Template. As a book, “30 Days And 30 Ways” is Spokane-specific. The articles and the response items are focused locally. But communities all across America are wrestling with the same issues, searching for the same answers, and looking for ways to mobilize their communities to “greater love and good deeds.” We would love to see future editions of “30 Days And 30 Ways” tailored for other communities with locally produced articles which address local issues and local responses (think “2018 Portland Edition” or “2018 Seattle Edition”).
A Video Project. Yep. We haven’t forgotten the original idea of a video reality project documenting issues, stories and solutions. So, stay tuned!
Here’s How You Can Step Up And Get Involved!
Are you getting the idea here, that “30 Days And 30 Ways” is really all about YOU! So, are you ready to become legendary for unconditional love, good deeds and serving others?! If what you’ve read so far interests you – even excites you – then consider this your invitation to get involved. This is your time to make a real and tangible difference in the lives of people in need, and maybe even transform our community in the process. Consider this your opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself; to serve those in need; to become “legendary” for unconditional love, good deeds and serving others. It’s time to make a difference for yourself, for your community, and for the Kingdom of God. Here are some ways you can get involved right now!
1. Tell Your Story! Let’s start by making this personal. Do you have a personal story of struggle, faith and overcoming adversity (unemployment, homelessness, human trafficking, drug addiction, etc.) that no one else knows. You may even think your story isn’t worth telling; that no one would be interested. We disagree. We want to hear your story. Welcome to our “Everybody Has A Story” project. We are looking for real people who are willing to tell their unique personal story of how their faith, family and friends helped them overcome incredible challenges (poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, drugs, human trafficking, and more), and brought them to where they are today. We want to publish the best and most compelling of those stories both on this website and in upcoming editions of “30 Days And 30 Ways.” This is your opportunity to tell your story! Take a few minutes and discover how to submit your story.
2. What Are You, Your Church, Ministry or Service Club Doing To Serve Others? Are you one of those “shining lights” of the Kingdom who has been involved in serving those in need around you without telling anyone or making a “big deal” about it. Is your Church or ministry serving others behind the scenes, doing good and impacting our community? Tell us about it! Take a few minutes and discover how to submit your story.
3. Challenge Your Church To Become Involved! We’re looking for Churches, ministries, businesses and individuals who want to bring their unique gifts and resources to the table to serve people in need and to address issues which challenge our Community.
4. Become A Financial Partner! We can’t do this alone. We need your help and participation. We’re looking for financial donors and sponsors who want to be an important part of moving “30 Days And 30 Ways” forward, and maybe even turning it into a genuine movement for good.
5. Volunteer! We’re looking for volunteers willing to donate their time as support staff to help with such things as story editing, website construction and maintenance and more.