The June holidays traditionally is when Northpine runs its annual Storm Co Trips. That’s right, TRIPS… Storm CO is an acronym SERVICE TO OTHERS REALLY MATTERS and each year groups of students put up their hands to go out into rural Queensland or on our international trip to Cambodia and serve the communities that we go into. This year we have 75 students and staff that will be out and about. We are returning to the towns of Eidsvold and Blackwater as we do each year. But, we also have a team heading over to Cambodia for our biannual Storm Co International trip. It has been inspiring to see how much Storm Co has grown over the years here at Northpine.
But one must ask the question, Is serving really a big deal? According to the words and actions of Jesus, it is.
From the book of Mark we find Jesus saying, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” When Jesus was here on earth He showed us through His actions that serving others is important.
When we fully understand what Jesus has done for us, we want others to know Him and to find the same hope and happiness that we have. Just telling people is not enough, we need to show them just as Jesus did. In fact, Jesus’ own brother said it this way in the book of James, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” You see the way we serve others shows them who Jesus is.
Here are ten suggestions of how we can serve someone today:
When was the last time you cleaned the dishes or made dinner, not because it was your turn, but just because you can? It is quite easy to forget the ones we need to serve are often the ones that are close to us. How much would our home lives change if we started the day with the simple question, “How can I help you today?”
You know these people. They are at the door of the church welcoming you in, or those who help out with Children’s ministries or even the Pastors. They are most definitely not superhuman (well actually I think those that help out in children’s ministry might be). God isn’t looking for super-Christians. He’s built our worshiping communities with normal people like you and me.
What is that ‘something’ that we enjoy doing? What is that ‘something’ that other people say that we are good at? What does your diary look like? These questions can help you decide which areas of church would best suit you when volunteering.
We all have more than we need. We live in a rich society. Get together with your family and clean out the house by collecting all the clothes, toys, books, blankets and non-perishable food items to donate. In fact, you can donate just about anything nowadays. There are charities set up to receive donations from anything from food to cars and even land.
The apostle Paul knew a few things about service. In the first book of Thessalonians he writes, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” Encouragement is a simple thing that costs very little. Choose a friend or family member each week and send them an email, letter or text just to let them know that you are thinking of them, that you are proud of them, that you are praying for them and simply that you are there for them.
When you make dinner, double your portions and take it to someone who could use some help. A busy mother, sick friend, an elderly neighbour, a hurting family or someone who just needs a night free from worrying about what is for dinner.
Do you know a young family that could use a date night? Call them up and offer to babysit.
Quite often we want to acknowledge our own success. In the book of Philippians, Paul tells us to think about others above ourselves. Lending a helping hand to help others showcase their gifts is a fantastic way to serve someone else.
Take the time to sit with your kids, a friend, your spouse or a neighbour and just simply listen. Make a point of pushing your own personal agenda aside and focus on what they have to say.
While in the line at Coles or Woolies, or getting a morning coffee, pay for the person behind you, no strings attached. Being generous could be the difference in someone’s day.
One of the best ways to find a service opportunity is to simply pray that God will provide a way for you to help someone throughout the day. He will definitely answer, so get ready when you get the nudge to help someone out.
Have a great holiday! We’ll have some stories to share when we return from our Storm Co Trips.
-Mr Simon Hutton, Chaplain