Back in 2005, an initiative was launched in Brussels, Belgium, known as Serve the City. This was not the beginning of your ordinary church initiative. It wasn’t specifically about church growth or church planting or something else similar. It was something unique. Serve the City was launched to stir people towards doing just what its name says – Serve the City.
Specifically, Serve the City is a movement of volunteers around the world connecting with local opportunities to serve in their cities. Many people want to get involved in the community and help in some way, but it’s hard to know where to start or if the simple things we might do would make a difference. Serve the City organises events where volunteers can start by showing kindness in practical ways to people in need, believing that many people doing small things together can make a big difference.
In all, Serve the City was envisioned as something that would provide practical help and assistance through people serving the hurting, the poor, the disadvantaged, etc. This would all be done through small project-based initiatives. It could be painting, cleaning, serving food to the homeless, conversation, beauty treatment for women, organising cluttered spaces, etc.
Serve the City is headed up by Christians, but this is not necessarily branded as a ‘Christian organisation’. Their vision is to also draw in and involve non-Christians via the serving opportunities, and through this, see conversations start up about life, faith, Jesus, why Serve the City exists, why the Christians who are serving choose to serve, etc. It’s a doorway not only into the lives of the broken in the city but also into the lives of all types of people from all over the world, since Brussels is an international city.
Serve the City has now expanded out from Brussels, Belgium, and now exists in about 50 cities around the world. This also is quite amazing to see such happen in 5 short years.
There are 3 major serving days organised each year from the Brussels side (basically once a quarter), with smaller monthly serving opportunities provided as well. But during the summer, Serve the City hosts a week-long serving project with hundreds of volunteers from all over the world joining in to serve in the city through these practical projects and initiatives.
I’ve joined in for quite a few opportunities now and really appreciate what is going on. It’s good to give our lives to serving the broken, hurting, poor in spirit and weak. Well, we are all really in that place, it’s just that these people whom we serve usually already recognise it. It is simply amazing to see how this has unfolded for the past 5 years. I’m looking forward to more opportunities to be a part of what God is doing through Serve the City.
To understand more about what Serve the City is about, see the video below and check our their website.