Jesus modeled a life of serving those around him and he calls us to do the same in the command to love God and love our neighbor. Sometimes serving looks like giving our time to serve at church, sometimes it looks like serving those in need, and sometimes it looks like serving our friends and family. These practices will help you explore different ways of serving both big and small in safe practical ways during covid.
Challenge: Write a list of talents and passions God has given you. How might you use those to help or serve someone else?
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” - Francis Buechner
God has given us each gifts that we can use to glorify God and love others well. Think about some of the gifts God has given you. What are you really good at? What are you passionate about? How could you use your talents and passions to help or teach someone else? We all have a role in the kingdom of God!
Challenge: Pick a less-than-fun job around the house to complete to bless your family members or roommates.
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” Philippians 2:5-7 NLT
In one of the last suppers Jesus had with his disciples Jesus went around the wrong and washed each person’s feet. This was typically the job of the servant in the household, but Jesus, in humility, took on this task instead. Jesus shows us a way of loving others through serving them and being willing to do the things that others might look down upon.
Today, instead of leaving the less fun jobs for someone else to do, take the opportunity to serve your family or your roommates and do that task in humility.
Do you live by yourself? Try one of these ideas:
Offer to do the less than fun job at work
Get your neighbor’s mail on a cold day and bring it to their front door
Bring in a neighbor’s trash bins on trash pick up day
Collect the loose carts in the parking lot and put them in the cart area
Scrape a few windshields in a parking lot
Challenge: Stock up on extra food next time you’re grocery shopping and donate it to the Mitchell Sack Pack or Food Pantry.
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” Isaiah 58:6-8 NLT
Our call as Christians is to love the least, the last, and the lost and to do our best to help those in need. This sometimes feels like an overwhelming thing to do and it’s hard to know where to start! One easy way to start is to help supply organizations that already have systems in place to help.
Next time you go grocery shopping, buy some extra food to donate. You can look for food items that are on sale and stock up on a few extra things. Drop them by the Mitchell Food Pantry or Snack Pack Program to help provide food for those in need.
How to involve your kids: Have them help you find deals in the newspaper ads or have them pick out a few cans of vegetables or soup or a snack to donate.
Challenge: Be on the lookout for small (or large) acts of kindness you could do to serve those around you.
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’— when you already have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27 NIV
Sometimes serving is as simple as acting when you see a need. It is easy to get so caught up in your own agenda that you might miss some simple ways you can serve others. Today (or this week) pay close attention to those around you and the Holy Spirit’s nudging. Who can you do good for this week that is within your power to act right now?
Challenge: Is there something you promised to do and then forgot? Try to remember what it is and put your words into action today.
“Let us not become weary in doing good” Galatians 6:9 NIV
We’ve all had times where we’ve agreed to do something for someone and then not followed through. Maybe we got busy or we just forgot! This is easy to do. But what if today you took some time to put your words into action and do that thing you promised? Serve those around you by being a person of your word and doing what you said you’re going to do.
Challenge: Research a place in your community you’ve always been interested in learning more about serving at.
The first step in serving is learning about your options! You might not be able to physically serve right now because of covid, but you can begin to learn about the opportunities and consider what opportunities align with your skills and passions. Don’t feel like you need to research all the options, just pick one or two you’re most interested and go from there!
Places to Start:
AsOne Ministries: https://www.asoneafrica.org/
Abbott House: https://abbotthouse.org/
Mitchell Area Safe House: https://www.mitchellareasafehouse.org/
Mitchell Snack Pack: http://www.mitchellsnackpack.org/
Bonus: If you find a place you are passionate about, call the organization and put your name down on a list to volunteer when they are able to have people serve next.
Challenge: At the end of this Lent challenge, fill up all of the Easter eggs with candy and bless a family with an at-home Easter egg hunt.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 NLT
Even as we’re writing this we’re not sure how Easter will look this year, but we don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to celebrate Easter with our community and share the good news with others. We’re counting on you to be our messengers to help spread the Easter celebration by filling up the Easter eggs and surprising a family with an at-home Easter egg hunt!
Not sure who to give your Easter eggs to? Try one of these ideas:
A classmate of one of your kids
A co-worker’s family