Let’s play a game. Think about a time when someone served you out of the goodness of their heart. I am guessing it made you feel loved, special, important, significant (and any other synonym for loved). Now, think of several ways you would describe the person who served you. Take a minute to actually think of how you would describe them. Here is the big question: Does this description sound like you?
I just got home from a three-day mission trip with our middle school team. We took 30 people to Yakima and served in a variety of ways. We sorted/packed apples, scrubbed gym floors, deep cleaned a church, organized a storage unit, and found any way we could to serve the Yakima Community. I am so proud of both the students and leaders who decided to use their spring break to serve someone else. They were doing exactly what God calls us all to do!
The greatest among you must be a servant.
Matthew 23:11 (NLT)
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35 (NLT)
“The only really happy people are the ones who have learned to serve.”
– Albert Schweitzer
As I was reflecting on our students working in Yakima two things continued to come up in regard to serving.
Compassion – This is the heart of Jesus. He had compassion for the people he interacted with. He saw the hardships each person carried and wanted to help them. The very definition of compassion is the sympathetic awareness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
I watched our students see the needs of others, think beyond what they wanted, and begin to serve. At times we needed to remind them of “why” we were working so hard for others. Isn’t that true for all of us? We all need a reminder to change our perspectives at times, recognize the needs of others and have compassion for them.
Inconvenience – Serving never seems to “fit into my schedule.” There were hundreds of other things these students could have done with their spring break. Sleeping on a gym floor, giving up their phones, and driving two hours to Yakima to work is not convenient. I love seeing parents set an example. One student was coming home from a basketball tournament the day we left and missed our caravan to Yakima. Her mom packed up all four of her kids and drove her daughter to Yakima to serve. Incredible! Even though this was highly inconvenient she understands the importance of teaching her daughter the value of serving.
God created us to serve. It is in our DNA, like a hammer was created to hammer nails and a screwdriver was created to screw in screws. We are created to serve one another. It is why Jesus teaches us that the greatest must become a servant, and we are more blessed giving than receiving.
Our middle school students set the bar. Let’s follow their example by serving someone this week. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few ideas you could begin with:
- Serve your family
- Volunteer at Church on the Ridge (contact Kevin 😊)
- Make a surprise visit to someone at home
- Donate clothing
- Serve your children
- Ask what you can do, listen, then do it
- Share your talents with someone
- Perform simple acts of service
Have a great week.