Is being kind really difficult? No – but being intentionally kind, while seeking out opportunities to show kindness may be.
The NCS Kindness Challenge was born out of a devotional from John Bishop. In an NCS Zoom meeting, Bishop shared that a catalyst for healing in the nation would come from intentional acts of kindness, pointing to scripture for examples. Bishop encouraged the group to look for opportunities, like Jesus did, to extend kindness to others.
Following Bishop’s devotional, Carlton Deal, who helps lead a European 70-city non-profit called Serve the City, was the next weekly speaker. Deal reminded the group that they could all serve their cities through acts of kindness. He went a step further by revising the acronym for NCS, reflect this:
N - "no strings attached"
Show kindness without any expectation that the person must act as you desire.
C - "cross the line"
Share acts of kindness with people who look and think differently than you.
S - "surprising acts of kindness"
Act in ways that surprises folks.
Following Deal, the group heard from Alan Wright, Senior Pastor of Reynolda Church in Winston Salem and head of Alan Wright Ministries. He recently published his fourth book entitled The Power to Bless. Perhaps there is no greater act of kindness for a Believer than to bless someone? It can be the gift which keeps giving over time for the recipient and the fuel for the giver to keep serving others.
The themes of kindness, serving and blessing started to form a connection in the mind of Jay Helvey, and the idea for a Kindness Challenge began to germinate.
Getting the challenge off the group
Helvey found further inspiration through the Love Your Neighbour campaign organized by Holy Trinity Brompton Church. Churches across the UK were united during the COVID pandemic to engage volunteers to deliver food and services to the neediest across the country. The previous devotionals along with the UK church’s initiative led Helvey to think about how NCS could encourage its men to intentionally seek out opportunities to share kindness with others - and seemed like a good way to give hope during the Winter weeks of the pandemic.
Kindness in action
Helvey knew the power and impact of these acts of kindness would come when the brothers relied on the Holy Spirit to help them spot opportunities to be kind and to bless others. The opportunities quickly arose.
One of the NCS men came down with COVID and was alone at home. The brothers made sure that he had food each day, and at one point called 911 to get him to the hospital. His condition was severe, and he may have not made it without the men’s help. Another brother was going through a busy intersection in Winston-Salem and saw a newspaper "hawker" waving the Sunday paper. He had already read the paper at home that morning, but he stopped and paid a few newspapers forward to encourage the man. NCS as a group is raising funds to help a lady wanting to become a foster parent secure housing, which will allow her to foster children in the system.
Story after story started to come in – as the men shared these anecdotes at weekly meetings.
Why the Kindness Challenge matters so much now
Helvey believes that people feel isolated and frustrated with COVID and what is taking place around them. Helping them remember the impact of kindness and giving them purpose to make a difference is significant, no matter how small the kind act.
“We want to celebrate acts of kindness. We are blessed by God and the sacrifice of Jesus. It brings joy to honor God by blessing others,” Helvey said.
“Kindness can be the basis for fostering a repentant heart, healing the division in our society, and, when delivered in the form of an intentional blessing, the fuel for serving others in meaningful ways.”