Along the Way as We Serve Others

Posted by Kimber Walsh on

Some people set a goal of serving others more in the New Year. There are countless ways that we can serve others, but as we do any one of them, we can also frame it through the lens of faith. I’d go even further to submit that you and I serve others because of our faith. As we serve, let us then not forget to talk about our faith and the God in whom we trust as we are charged to do in Deuteronomy 6:6-7:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the way, when you lie down and when you get up.”

But how do we serve? The skills that seem to be needed are lacking. There are physical limitations. The schedule is too full. The kids are too young. I have some ideas for you too!

How to create a service opportunity:

  1. Observe Pay attention to who is around you and circumstances that you regularly see where help might be needed. List them if it’s helpful.
  2. Think Think about what help might be needed by the people and circumstances you regularly encounter. Think about some things that you/your family are skilled to do that match up with what you observed. Think about limitations you might have with abilities, schedule, or age and factor those in. Also consider if the ways you think will help will be helpful or might hinder the persons receiving the service in some way. Just because we think it’s helping doesn’t mean it always is. (Sometimes we simply need to ask!)
  3. Plan Make a plan for how you might help. Include your whole family in brainstorming, you might be surprised what you can come up with when your heads are all working together. Schedule it. Make arrangements with recipients if necessary. Buy supplies. [If you’re looking for a way to fund a project, check out local resources, get in touch with your church, or if you’re a Thrivent member, consider using an Action Team grant.]
  4. Serve Go and serve!

Here are some ideas for how we can talk about faith and point our families to God as we serve others:

  • Why serve?-Acts of service are acts of love. We are to “love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Our service is a demonstration of the love that we are showing to others from the outpouring of love God has given to us. Any time you serve, whether it be those in your household or those in your community of great need or anyone else, be sure to talk about your why.
  • Serve whom?- We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible does prescribe some people we are specifically to serve (widows, orphans, believers in financial need, etc.) but we when we love our neighbors as ourselves, we are reminded that we can show love through our actions to anyone that we encounter. Challenge yourselves to come up with different people you can serve individually or together as a family.
  • How to serve well-Serving well has a small amount to do with using our skills to meet needs and a large amount to do with how we execute our service. Intentionality is imperative. Each time we serve, we should remember who we are as God’s children, who the recipients of our service are as God’s children also and why we serve them with God’s love in whatever way we do. God always looks at the heart, so our attitudes as we serve are also critical. Serving isn’t just about making ourselves feel better, it’s about making sure our neighbor’s needs our met and our neighbors get to see the love of Christ through our actions. Talk about these things as a family before you serve and after you complete any service activities you do. (Keep in mind: our family in our house are our closest neighbors so sometimes acts of service are happening daily to them and those likely need less planning but the same amount of intentionality and love.)

Consider how you and your family can serve together, talk about giving of yourselves to bring Christ to the situation and the people you are serving, then go! Godspeed.

Tags: service, discipleship, serving others, sharing faith, faith formation, d6, along the way