When Women’s Ministries Meet Messy Houses

A unique service idea

Professional organizers have been doing it for years. Television programs have started doing it, too. Over the years, from time to time, friends have gathered to help one another out of difficult household-organizing situations. Yes, group home-organizing has a rich and varied history.

The problem of disorganization seems to be getting more pronounced. But what are the guidelines for helping those caught in the clutches of disorganization? Until now there have been few directives for what can be a sensitive situation: entering someone else's house to help make changes. Stepping up to meet this need is an opportunity for the women's ministries of the church. They can offer support for members and outreach to the community. Like many other ministries, home-organization is an opportunity to do as Paul admonished in Galatians 6:10, "Do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith."

Maybe someone in your church feels immobilized by a recent loss, is chronically depressed, has just moved from a larger place, has never learned housekeeping skills, or has just had a baby…you can fill in the reason. Those who are gifted with natural organizing skills may have been able to remain organized in these circumstances. However, not everyone has the skills necessary to stay on top when things start spinning out of control. With added pressures, the person who was previously struggling to stay in control now finds herself overwhelmed. She may feels as if she is drowning in clutter and papers. "Help!" she cries silently as she tries to rally unsuccessfully to meet the challenge.

That's when the cavalry can come to the rescue. Some people are naturally gifted at organizing and find nothing more satisfying than bringing order out of chaos wherever they find it. They have abilities in executive functioning—they are good at setting goals, maintaining focus, determining consecutive steps, spatial relationships, and decision making. In short, they can envision what needs to be done and how to do it.

Disorganized folks march to the beat of a different drummer. Though they may be intelligent, creative, hardworking, and well-meaning, they lack one or more of the qualities required to organize easily or consistently. Oh, they may be able to hold it together when things are going well, but they cannot maintain organization when a crisis comes or the job just becomes too big.

In those circumstances, like the man robbed on the road to Jericho, they need the help of a Good Samaritan (or Samaritans) to help them get back on their feet.

April 01, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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