“To serve should be a privilege, and it is to our shame that we tend to think of it as a burden, something to do if you’re not fit for anything better or higher.” Madeline L’Engle
Service is the heart of our homeschool. Basically, it’s the heart of our family. ( In fact, my oldest daughter and I are in route to Africa to serve widows and orphan girls of Burundi. ) All that we learn, is learned so that we can better serve others. All that we do, we do not simply for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others.
Serving is a great way to teach our children to be people of action, not simple philosphers who contemplate the complexities of the universe in their ivory towers. Serving is a great way “road test” the ideas that we teach. It reveals the relevancy of learning. Serving has lessons of its own as well, and you can’t always predict the lessons that will be presented. Serving teaches our children to be generous, to give our best and to see other people as valuable and worthy of their time, energy, and material possessions.
Serving is all about loving.
Here are some ideas of how you can begin serving TODAY:
- Make Bags for the homeless with toothpaste,toothbrushes, granola bars, water, socks. Keep it in your car to give to the homeless.
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood
- Go to a college campus, and give out water to the students (get permission first)
- Pray for friends, government leaders, the poor, the sick, family etc.
- Have neighbors over for dinner or some other meal
- volunteer at a local food pantry
- participate in purposeful acts of kinds towards strangers
- give cold bottled waters to the men who pick up your trash
- leave a note of thanks (or a treat) in the mailbox for your mail carrier
- in the summer, volunteer to work at camps for underprivileged or disabled children
- serve food for the homeless at thanksgiving (or any time of the year)
- spend time with the homeless at Church Under the Bridge
- clean up and put away chairs after church
- go on mission trips to help the poor and needy, and spend time listening to their stories
- collect toys for families in need and distribute them
- Give towards non-profit organizations that help those in need
- sponsor children with organizations like: Compassion International, World Vision, Mission of Hope Haiti, International Needs or Children’s HopeChest
- Make friends with a single mom.
- keep a jar on the counter for collecting spare change in order to give towards someone in need
- Go to the laundry mat and help people fold clothes. Give out quarters
- Have a free car wash
- Host a bible club in the summer for children to learn about Jesus and have fun playing games
- Invite neighborhood kids over to your home for a free, or inexpensive summer camp. ( Teach something you love, or let your children teach something they love. One year, we went to a fashion design camp taught by a 12 year old. It was fabulous!)
- Make a meal for a sick friend (let the kids help!)
- Help someone move into their new home
- Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts (A set of triplets raised $200 towards one of our mission trips doing this!)
- Get to know your waiter/waitress. See how you can serve them. (Ask about their day. Ask how you can pray for them.)
- When flying, take a moment and give the flight attendants a thank you card. (or just say thank you) You might make someone’s day!
- Stop to talk to a stranger who seems to be in need of a little sunshine
- Use the internet to teach something you know. Write a blog post, record a youtube video, or a podcast.
- Share your creations, your stories, your art.
The goal is to look for opportunities to bring good into the world. It’s a powerful work!
If you have a moment, please stop to pray for the work that our team will be doing in Burundi for the next 10 days.
How has your family served others together?
Please leave your comment below. I’d love to hear more suggestions.