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“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 NIV
Let’s think about that last part for a minute - “which God prepared in advance for us to do.” So, the question is….who has God placed in your path? Who did you pass by this morning who could have used prayer? Who could use a hand with a chore or two? Who might need a new pair of shoes? Who could use a clean bed? Who has God prepared in advance for you to serve?
As Christians, we are called to serve others - not only is the term “service” (or some version of it) mentioned more than 1,100 times throughout the Bible, but time after time in Scripture, Jesus Himself sets a beautiful example of how we should deeply love and serve those around us.
And while we know this is true, it is way too easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day lives, taking care of our ever-growing to-do list and staying focused on the job at hand. Have you ever heard that voice in the back of your head that says “you can do more?” Chances are, it’s not just a voice. If you’re looking for ways to reach out - check out the eight ways to serve others listed below. Who knows? You might just find your answer.
1. Start a card ministry.
Few people can resist the excitement and anticipation that comes with receiving a hand-written envelope and card in the mail. That’s because the sharing of a greeting card opens a little window of hope in a person’s heart — both of the sender and the receiver.
2. Send a care package.
Mail care packages to deployed soldiers, new college students, or maybe to someone you know who is fighting off the flu. Fill a tote bag with treats and goodies as well as inspirational tools, such as Sticky Prayers or Prayers to Share, to encourage them to lean on God as they face their struggles.
3. Donate children's books to your local shelter.
Many times, children who end up at homeless shelters or domestic violence centers have very little in their pockets, and very little in their hearts. What better way to share God’s love with them than through a Christian children’s book that shares the amazing hope and peace that God has for them.
4. Become a volunteer tutor.
Volunteer for a local mentoring/tutoring program. Helping a young student learn to read and write can make all the difference in the world to that child’s life and future. This service allows you to build a bond, which opens doors for you to share the love of Christ.
5. Hold a bake sale for your favorite charity.
Love to bake? Ask your like-minded friends to join you for an afternoon of flour, sugar and fellowship. Organizing a bake a sale can be fun, and this time when you’re done perfecting your beautiful masterpiece (also known as Nona’s apple pie) you can place it in the perfect pie plate, knowing that you just supported a very worthy cause.
6. Hand out water.
Regardless of the time of year, dehydration is a common problem among the homeless. Share God’s love and hope with the less fortunate by simply attaching Scripture shareables to water bottles and handing them out in poverty-stricken areas.
7. Deliver food to elderly friends.
Good nutrition is essential to maintaining a person’s health and overall well-being. Why not make an extra plate, put it on a giving platter, and take it to someone who you know needs a meal?
8. Assemble a new parents kit.
Create kits to encourage new parents and leave them at your local hospital. You could fill it with items that most new parents might not think of when packing their overnight bag, such as baby blankets, Baby’s First Bible, onesies, saline spray drops, a new set of warm-ups for Mom, encouraging mugs filled with chocolate bars, a book on motherhood, and lots and lots of coffee. Want more ideas on how to bless new parents? Read our article “Beyond a Meal - How to Really Bless New Parents.”
It is our hope that the eight above-mentioned ways helped spark some ideas on how you might incorporate serving others into your day-to-day life. Maybe you found something that you could go do right now or maybe your idea is going to take a little more time to organize. Either way, we’d like to invite you to spend some quiet time with God - ask Him where He might need you most, ask Him who He has placed in your life, and ask Him to give you the strength, compassion and perseverance to serve as only He did.
Looking for more ideas? Click here to read inspirational articles on how to shine God’s light by hosting small groups, hitting the streets and inviting a stranger to dinner.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB