Serving Others: A Practical (and Biblical) Guide
How do you serve others? Read on to discover your unique strengths in serving others and how you can use them to make a huge impact in your community for Christ!
Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14, ESV). He called us to serve others, as he did. So, how do you do that? We all want to be faithful servants and help others, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this practical, biblical guide to help you complete this month’s challenge to serve others!
The importance of serving others
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus communicates the importance of serving others, “‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
Jesus paints a clear picture of how crucial it is to be a servant. When we serve others, we are serving Him. Below, we’ll discuss how to identify your strengths in serving others, along with how and where to get started.
Discovering your Service Strength
First, let’s find out how you like to serve others by discovering your Service Strength! What’s a Service Strength, you ask? It’s the way you naturally respond when a service opportunity comes up. So, what’s your Service Strength? Take the quiz below to find out!
We all have one Service Strength that we tend to use more than others, but that doesn’t mean we only have one! Whatever your primary Service Strength, try to incorporate all the different strengths to make the biggest impact on those around you.
How you can start serving others
Now that you know your Service Strength, how can you start serving others? It can still be difficult to discover service opportunities in your community if you don’t know where to look. Fortunately, it’s not that hard once you’ve mastered these three steps…
Identify a need in your community
First, you need to find an opportunity to serve others. Examine those around you and discover what their needs are. If you can’t think of anything, a perfect solution is to choose a person and ask, “how can I help you?”
Think of a way you can meet that need
Second, when you identify a need that is not being met, think of a way you can meet that need. For instance, if someone doesn’t have time to mow their lawn, you can sacrifice some of your time to do that for them. Talk with your family to get ideas and support!
Take action and don’t be afraid to adjust
Third, when you’ve seen a need and figured out a way you can meet it, don’t wait! Go to the person you want to serve and offer your help. Don’t be afraid to change your plan if they tell you something else would be better. Work with them to refine your service plan so it helps them as much as possible!
Where you can serve others
Everyone of us has a community, and that’s a perfect place to start serving. Each community looks a little bit different, but we’re going to focus on four places that can make up a community and provide endless opportunities to help others: Home, Church, School, and Neighborhood. Remember the three steps from above as you look for ways to serve in the places below.
The first place you can serve in your community is at home. Where can you help? Are there certain things you can do to help your parents and siblings? A good place to start is with chores. Now, we’re not telling you to take over your brother or sister’s chores for the rest of time. But maybe they’ve had a busy week working on a school project – that could be a great time to serve them and take something off their plate. Similarly, another way to serve is by writing an encouraging note or planning a surprise to lift a family member’s spirits.
So, what are some ideas you can think of?
The second place to serve is your church. What are ways that you can help? Ask your pastor or youth leader if you need ideas – they are sure to have an answer for you! This is also a great opportunity to use the skills and interests that God has given you to serve your church. What are you good at and what do you like doing? If you’re skilled with technology, maybe you can help run the A/V. If you’re artistic, perhaps you can design promotional materials for upcoming church events. You could volunteer for Vacation Bible School, helping with a Bible study, and so much more.
So, how can you serve at your church?
The third place in your community to serve is your school. Think about how you can help make your teacher’s job easier. For instance, do they need help putting things up after an activity? Go the extra mile and let your teachers know that you are willing to help when needed – it can make a big impact! Are you really good at a certain subject in school? You could offer to tutor another student who may be struggling with that same subject. There are many ways to serve others at school – and this includes home school as well!
So, who are some people you can serve at school?
Your neighborhood is the fourth place you can serve in your community. As mentioned above, you could mow a neighbor’s lawn or grab groceries if they’re busy or have trouble getting out and about. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, shoveling sidewalks and driveways for your neighbors can be a great way to show them Christ’s love. If you’re skilled with tools, you could offer to do some routine maintenance like fixing a fence. Get to know those around you through serving them together with your whole family.
Another great way to serve is by caring for foster and adoptive families in your community. While your family may not be called to open your home to children in need, you can still be involved in caring for them! Often it’s the small gestures that mean the most, and you can still use some of the suggestions above! If you’d like a guide on how you can love foster and adoptive families in your community, check out our free L.O.V.E. booklet as a guide for offering practical support.
So, where can you start helping others in your neighborhood?
Serve as you have been served
Hopefully, this guide to serving others has been helpful to you. Be encouraged as you take this month’s challenge and look for ways to serve your community. Keep in mind Jesus’ words in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus became a servant to all, now we get to share that loving example and shine Christ’s light to those around us!
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