“Ok, so why do we have to serve again?!” groaned my disgruntled protégé.
Before responding with some variation of, “Because I said so,” I had to remind myself that my protégé (like numerous kids and adults from every layer of social stratification) had never received the proper framework for why Christians should serve other people.
Here, I hope to answer his “Why” question and give practical mentor-protégé service ideas. (I’ll also shamelessly promote our upcoming service event, which will be held on October 25, 2014.)
Why should we serve?
The Bible describes for us the Christian God who is, among a litany of other attributes, both triune and self-sufficient. In the Trinity, we see what CS Lewis described as the “kind of dance” of loving service-oriented glorification. (Jn. 16:12-14, 17:1-5) In his self-sufficiency, we see a God who serves in and through every aspect of grace that he makes available from creation to consummation. We are made in the image of the God who serves Himself and His creation volitionally.
Service is ministry
If a person were to flip through a Bible dictionary for a definition of the word “serve,” they would most likely arrive at the word diakoneō. The verb “to serve” is interchangeable with “to minister.” Christian ministry literally means Christian service. I would define this service as: a person volitionally or voluntary sacrificing their body, time, talent, and/or resources for the purpose of pointing to Jesus, the ultimate servant.
There is no the clearer picture of service in all of human history than in the life of Jesus. From his incarnation (Lk. 2), to his public ministry seen in the gospels, to the washing of his disciples feet (Jn 13:1-12), to his atoning sacrificial service on the cross for the sin of the world (Jn 19 – 21); Jesus served. He summed up his life of service best in Mark 10:45 when he said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” We echo Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1 when we tell our protégé’s to imitate us as we imitate Christ through serving.
Practical Service Ideas
Here is a list of practical service ideas that will help you as you prepare your protégé for a lifestyle of service.
1. Church volunteerism
2. Serving parents/families or in the neighborhood
3.Homeless shelter (Our Calling, Austin Street, Union Gospel Mission, Dallas Life)
4. Sign up through a volunteerism website- volunteermatch.org
5. Champions of Hope office (cleaning) or serving during our weekly Bible Study at Exline Recreation Center. (every Thursday from 6 – 8 pm)
6. Refer back to the Champions of Hope Mentor Handbook for age-appropriate service ideas. (For handbook related questions, contact a Relationship Coordinator)
The 2014 Champions of Hope Day of Service
Bring your protégé along as we serve the South Dallas Community on October 25, 2014, from 9 am to 2 pm. We ask that you arrive at the Champions of Hope Headquarters located at 2612 Martin Luther King Drive Dallas, TX 75215 by 9 am. Don’t forget to RSVP!
Zach Middleton, Relationship Coordinator