“My brothers and sisters, you were chosen to be free. But don’t use your freedom as an excuse to live under the power of sin. Instead, serve one another in love.”
By the time you are reading this I will be on a van driving to camp Kidjam with a group of elementary students ready to have an awesome week of camp. My life recently has become very packed with lots to do. I’m finishing up my last online course for university, I get to go on two weeks of different camps as a leader, and I am in the continual journey of figuring out the next steps in life. In the midst of trying to figure life out, serve day just happened. It is such a great reminder of reaching out to serve the people in our community and to share the name of Jesus. If you aren’t familiar with serve day, it is a day where churches from all over the country have their small groups go out and serve their city. It is one of my favorite things about my church. There were so many groups doing so many different projects all over the city, it was such an empowering thing to see, and I wanted to share some things God taught me about serving others.
Recently, I started interning with one of our campus pastors, Jonathan. It has been such an incredible time and I have been invested in, while being trusted with responsibility. Yesterday I was able to help set up for the kickoff before the day began. I helped get tables and shirts set up, but the best part was seeing people walk in, people from all walks of life and all different experiences, and join together to serve the city. I probably looked goofy with a big smile on my face, but it was because I could feel the weight of what we were doing. You see, God calls us to serve others. The verse above tells us that we are made free by God, but that doesn’t mean we are to sit back, it means that we are empowered to be a light to others. In the way that I talked last week, we have an identity that we must claim, and we can share that with others. Serving allows us to reach out to others and accomplish the mission that Jesus set out for us. We are called to serve one another in love, and serve day was a picture of a beautiful concept. Today I want to talk about to simple aspects about serving, hopefully to get you excited to start serving or an encouragement to keep serving. You are called to serve because you are free.
Serving gives back to the community.
You may be saying, well yeah, I know that, but this means so much. We live in a society that in focused on the “me” not the “other.” We are consumers and doing all we can to make ourselves feel great, but sometimes we forget about others all around us. As Christians, this can be especially toxic, many times we can begin to look down on others when we should really be reaching out to the broken. Serving provides a practical application to do that. It allows us to actually go out and give back, because we have been given eternity. By serving your community you become a physical light of Christ. In a world where people don’t often give back or judge because of their status in life, we can reach out and help the broken. This isn’t simply something only done on a Saturday once a year, it is an everyday choice that we can all make. Serve your family, serve your community, and serve your church.
Serving allows you to share the name of Jesus.
The best part about serving your community is it then provides opportunity. That opportunity might seem daunting, but it is so worth it. It’s the reason I serve each week as a small group leader for kids, because I don’t want to miss an opportunity to tell them about Jesus. By serving others, we open the door for questions. Why are you doing this? Why do you care? Who are you? These questions allow us to let people know that we are doing it because God calls us to, that we care about people, and that we are children of the one true God. Simple opportunities that can lead to a life-changing moment in the life of someone else. I want to people to have the story of, “I was broken and someone reached out to help me, and my life has never been the same.” That is the power of serving, because God empowers us to serve.
Saturday was incredible. Reflecting back on it I am hit with the weight of it all. Simple projects that give back to the community and shares the name of Jesus. Whether it was a yard sale with free items, speaking to nursing home members, yard work for those incapable of doing so, a free carwash, writing letters to the homeless community, and the list goes on. These projects allowed for the light to be shown around our city, and lives were changed. The best part is, every day we have the opportunity to serve, we simply have to take hold and serve in love.
Seize the day and serve.
Check out some pictures I took of the Daystar Church serve day here!