10 Ways to Serve

The waitress slid the fried fish dinner in front of me. I shuddered when I looked at the tail, fins, and head intact.  My lips pinched and my appetite fled.  No, I don’t think I’m the type of person to sign up for a mission trip. Scratch that off my list!

But the Lord pressed the message of loving others on my heart. I desired to love God, so I listened. Plenty of people here in our local community need a helping hand. A passport is not needed for a mission trip.

So, I decided to bring my middle school sons onboard to my summer plans.  Our first conversation sounded like this: “Let me get this straight?  You want ME to WORK for free, for a whole week? No thanks, Mom.  I’ll pass.”   My heart sank at the battle ahead. But the Lord could change their hearts. Obedience to the Lord was my part.

I smirked remembering my reaction to the fishy fin dinner. Their attitude mirrored my own. Forgive us Lord for our reluctant hearts.

Soon fears surfaced. I’m not a good conversationalist.  How in the world can I talk to complete strangers?  Doubts attacked my mind, but I asked God to calm my heart.

I knew surf camp would not develop integrity in my son’s character. Volunteer work shapes a person differently. They would learn hard work, compassion, and develop leadership skills. Working side by side with my children would be an opportunity for my family to grow together spiritually.

Matthew 22:37 – 39 tells us “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second like unto it is this, thou shalt love your neighbor as yourself.”   

The connection between the two commands shined brightly.  If you love the LORD completely, then you will love His children by carrying out his commands.

So, what’s holding you back from stretching out your hand to the local community?

Whatever the obstacle is, ask the LORD to keep your eyes focused on Him. He will overcome whatever hinders and develop the desire to serve.  There are numerous people in America who need more than a helping hand, they need Christ.  And Jesus desires to move through us all.

Here’s a list of ways to serve your local community.

  1. Wash dishes at a rescue mission.
  2. Buy a meal for the person behind you in the line.
  3. Invite a person who lives alone for dinner.
  4. Donate clothes, toys, or food to a charity.
  5. Help your neighbor with lawn care, trimming etc.
  6. Speak a kind word to the elderly.
  7. Donate needed items to children in foster care.
  8. Pick up trash along the road, waterway, or park.
  9. Call your grandparents and ask them questions about when they were your age.
  10. Smile at everyone you encounter.

Feel free to leave more ideas about how families can serve our community. I’d love to hear how you are blessing others this summer.  


Published by April Jollie

Teacher + Writer = Lessons of Hope for Tough Days, writer to deepen understanding of God's Word and to stay connected to Jesus.

6 thoughts on “10 Ways to Serve

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