“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it” (Prov. 3:27 NRSV)
All across the world where there is a Salvation Army installation, we will be hearing the sound of the bell at participating shops and stores. The Salvation Army relies heavily on the kettle collections to provide operating funds for several direct service programs. Women’s Ministries can take part in helping to raise funds for your area’s specific program needs. For many corps and other Salvation Army facilities, ringing the bell and the financial donations that are collected provide necessary funding for the many people who are in need.
Service Project Ideas
World Hunger Day at the Kettle
In several corps appointments, the women’s ministry groups have manned a kettle site for the day on World Hunger Day and raised funds for World Services. This was usually the Friday after Thanksgiving. Everything collected at that kettle on that day went toward the corps world service goal.
Sponsor a Kettle
Some of the women may be unable to ring bells but they may know others who could ring for short periods of time. Challenge the women to sponsor a kettle site and gather their friends and family members to man a site for the whole season or for a day. Give them a template to have their family and friends fill in times when they are able to ring, which can be transferred to the local Salvation Army facility for kettle coordination. Attached is a sample template.
If you use registertoring.com, you can have your group or individuals set up their times utilizing that site. Make this fun by turning it into a contest with prizes. For example, the woman who brings in the most volunteer bell ringing hours will get their fee to the next women’s camp paid. This could become a yearly event.
Service of Prayer
Prayer is vital to what we do this Christmas season. We must start it out in the right way by first seeking God’s direction. In the Sunday meetings and in the women’s ministries meeting pray for the corps kettle locations, the workers, drivers, coordinators, volunteers, employees and officers. Pray for them by name. The following is a list of specific scriptures that can be implemented:
- Pray for the area of service where kettles will be placed using Jeremiah 29:7
- Pray for God’s planning using Jeremiah 29:11, 12
- Pray for God’s direction using Jeremiah 42:3
- Pray for protection using Psalm 140:1, 2
- Pray against temptation using Luke 22:40
- Pray with thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness using Psalm 100
Prepare Bell Ringer Care Kits
Some of our bell ringers come with barely a coat to wear. These kits can be changed to fit your bell ringers needs.
- Warm Coat
- Gloves, scarf and hat
- Handwarmers (if needed)
- Hand sanitizer
- Cough drops
- Individual snacks
- Insulated coffee cup
- Bottled water
Wash and Paint Kettle Stands
If you have a men’s ministry group, enlist their help to get the kettles shiny and clean for the season. Sometimes this will involve applying a new coat of paint.
William Booth said, “The greatness of the man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” Each of us has power within us to do good in some way or another. But we do not always surrender to do great things for others, or we do only the minimal when we can do so much more. We tend to want power to benefit ourselves.
God’s word in Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” We can learn from the principles that we find in both the book of Proverbs and in the wisdom of William Booth’s words. Chapter 3 of Proverbs urges us to honor God, find wisdom and do good to our neighbors. What better time of the year to do good than at this season of helping others.
Not everyone can stand outside for hours at a time and ring a bell, but all people can do something to do good and help a neighbor. You need to find out what it is you can do and then do it to the best of your ability for someone in need. Just surrender to it and do it. God’s word says not to “withhold good.” If we withhold something that is in our power to give, then we are not the people God needs us to be.
My mother used to tell me that our words can be beautiful and pleasing to someone’s ears, but it is in our very actions that our true selves are revealed. She was a very wise woman. Surrendering ourselves is what God needs from us so that in turn we can do good to others.
This season, will you do your very best to help someone? If you can ring the bell at a kettle site, will you? If you can give some money and put it in the kettle, will you? If you can give some groceries to someone or bring food for the corps food pantry, will you? If it is in your power to do good, then please surrender yourself and just do it.
Let us pray:
Father God, we praise You for Your goodness. We praise You for showing us how immeasurable is Your love and goodness to us every day. Help us, Lord, to follow in Your ways and do good to those who need it the most. Help us to surrender our power to be used for Your glory. We ask for You, Holy Spirit, to be with The Salvation Army around the world at this time and to help them raise the funds they need in order to do good with what You have given them. We praise You and honor You in all we do. In the name of Jesus, Amen.