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Founder / President of Somebody Cares Tampa Bay
Author of several books
Has mobilized & united hundreds of churches through evangelistic means
M.A., Missiology, Liberty University; Hon. Doctorate of Theology, Tabernacle Bible College & Seminary
CBN.com Caring Through Serving
Author and speaker Daniel Bernard says that churchgoers in America have too often become spectators. He says by giving money to ministries and pastors, we have become personally uninvolved. The philosophies of “Let someone else do it” or “My best won’t make a difference” are ideas that people in the church cannot afford to embrace.
As the founder and president of Somebody Cares Tampa Bay, Daniel believes that each of us can have an impact on whole communities.
“Know that you play a vital role in seeing that His will comes about in your city,” says Daniel.
He knows that obedience in smaller areas of service, such as cleaning or sweeping the church, makes the larger impact possible. The important thing Daniel says is that the service is being done to build the Church and by building the Church, bigger-picture activities can be accomplished.
During Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001, Tampa-area churches united to host a super event of their own in a drug and crime-infested park. With help from Operation Blessing, more than 175 churches, ministries, and businesses came together distributing over 120,000 pounds of groceries and three truckloads of clothing. More than 1,400 volunteers from local churches and ministries joined together to impact the local Tampa area. As a result, over 12,000 people came out to the event and more than 1,200 people gave their lives to Jesus that day.
The following year, Daniel approached Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg with “Carefest – A Week of Caring.” Volunteers painted, planted, built, and raked. One business owner told his 125 employees that he would pay them time and a half for working that day if they wanted to volunteer.
In 2004, with four back-to-back hurricanes hitting various parts of Florida, Somebody Cares Tampa Bay was busy helping people in the communities that suffered huge losses. By partnering with Operation Blessing, they were able to distribute meals, food, and water to hurricane victims.
The Power of One
Daniel say that there needs to be more than just corporate prayer to change a city.
“Prayer must be complemented with the exercise of many gifts, especially that of compassion, service, and evangelism.”
People could delude themselves into believing that they are true followers because they hang out at church. But disregard the call when it comes to serving and meeting the needs of others. Daniel says one person helping can make a difference.
For example, close friend of his family named Bev moved into a new neighborhood. One day, two men (a homosexual couple) scolded her children while playing in the front yard. Despite this, Bev reached out to those neighbors and even brought over a meal when one of them (Steve) was sick.
After Steve died, his surviving partner Paul came to Bev’s house for prayer. One day, he came to the door and told her, “I’m ready for Jesus.” Bev was able to share her faith with him and lead him to the Lord.
Another friend, Gail, involved the kids in her neighborhood at Christmastime in a play. Over 200 neighbors showed up, including Muslims, to hear the truth about Jesus.
One Father’s Day, Daniel’s daughter Bethany gave out free packs of gum in front of a discount store. One of the recipients was a Vice President of the store. Since then, the VP has given them the green light to do free gift-wrapping during Christmas in 27 stores! One girl’s obedience opened the door to the church influencing hundreds of people in their community.
In 1990 after a 20-year absence, Daniel and his family returned to the Tampa Bay area after living overseas. He was surprised to see the increase of moral and spiritual decay in his hometown, like the growth of the Church of Scientology, an increase in the production of death music, and pornography and X-rated bars. He rallied churches together for help. Today his organization is a network of independent non-profit agencies that assist the working-poor and poverty-stricken families with back-to-school programs, food distributions, and disaster relief.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.