Recently, I read the book More or Less. What I read there represented something I have noticed more and more over the last few years. There has been a major shift in thinking. Bloggers are building audiences based on it. Networkers are developing partnerships based on it. Communities are developing programs based on it. What I saw there is what I think of as the new culture of servanthood.
A new culture is emerging among the young adult generation. They are making their homes in communities very different from their parents. They are more purposeful in their choices about impacting their communities. They are choosing a different path to impact the needy. They are choosing to do servanthood in a new way.
In today’s post, I want to talk about two main characteristics we see in this new culture of servanthood.
Tear Down The Partition
In the past, it was easy to separate servanthood and everyday life. You went to the soup kitchen to serve. You took time out of your everyday life to stack cans at the food pantry. You bundled your unused clothes to drop off at the local thrift store. All of these are actions of generosity. But think about the mindset…there is a mental partition between the place for servanthood (soup kitchen, food pantry, thrift store, etc.) and the place for everyday life (home, work, school, etc.).
The new culture of servanthood looks to engage the needs of people who we are engaged with on an everyday basis. In fact, much of the new culture of servanthood is built upon learning to see the needs around us. The old paradigm of “come and serve” is flipped on it’s head with a “stay and serve” mentality. It is a mindset shift, a tearing down of the partition between everyday life and servanthood. Instead, the two collide on a daily basis.
Think Outside The Box
What we have always done led us to where we are. The volunteer driven philanthropy efforts of the past created the partitioned culture. The new culture of servanthood isn’t rejecting those efforts, instead it is personalizing those efforts. The new culture is thinking outside the box on how to help those in need. The new culture of servanthood is about meeting creative needs in creative ways.
It is all about community. Communities of servant-minded people are banding together to meet needs in their own communities. The organizations driving this charge are no longer brick-and-mortar establishments; rather, they are web/app based social platforms to connect communities with their local needs. The shift isn’t just about where service is happening. It’s also how. More or Less is a collection of stories about how engagement with the new culture of servanthood ended in creative means of meeting needs.
Join The Culture
The big question isn’t whether we see this creative shift in servanthood. No, the real question is whether we are ready join the culture. Do we see enough need and value in our own community to tear down the partition? Are we willing to join a community of servant-minded people to creatively meet the needs of those in our immediate area?