Jesus said it best… the Gospel wrapped into two simple truths: we were fashioned to LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE.
We have gotten pretty good at teaching students to love God within the context of our church buildings. But how do you show them how to love people? Some of that can be done on-site, but many times the most impacting times of ministry formation in the lives of kids and students is when they are loving others by SERVING them in their neighborhoods and communities.
So what have you done with your students to SHOW THEM how to LOVE OTHERS recently?
Here are some great ideas we’ve seen from NextGen groups from around our district to get you started!
- Adopt a school in your neighborhood and bring hot chocolate on cold days, host an on-site movie night for parents and kids, or raise money together to help the school purchase needed supplies.
- Volunteer to pick up trash on the grounds after community events, such as music festivals, county fairs and/or parades.
- Set up a water bottle booth on a busy jogging/biking path and offer passers by a free drink.
- Serve together at a local soup kitchen or mission. Gather used coats and blankets to donate beforehand.
- Start a monthly Laundry Love Project in your city.
- Start a drive to collect lightly used books to be donated to your local library.
- Take a day to do yard work for widows and shut-ins for free.
- Have a kind-note campaign for someone who needs a little extra love and encouragement. Maybe throw them a surprise party to present the cards.
- Organize a blood drive at your church or community center.
- Host a free child-care night during the holiday season so parents can have a night of kid-free Christmas shopping or a date night. Make sure that people know that all of your volunteers are properly screened and that their children will be well cared for and entertained.
- Have a big snow storm? Go out with your students and offer to shovel driveways and sidewalks in residential areas for free.
- Stop by your mayor’s office and ask what you can do. He might give you projects such as whitewashing graffiti, helping set-up/tear-down for city events, plant flowers in a park, or… well… the possibilities are endless. You’ll have the opportunity to serve your city and find out some of it’s biggest needs at the same time.
I believe there is something inside of each of us that comes to the realization — “I was made for this” — when given the opportunity to LOVE and SERVE others. So again, how about your students? Have you given them a chance to serve together? When you do, you’ll begin to create a culture within your group that will become addictive. And in a very good way.
If you want a FREE media pack featuring the #SERVE logo above (including master graphic files, fonts, and Facebook, Instagram and countdown files), click here (via Rise Up Resources).