THE POWER OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE
The youth group I was involved in as a teen was very focused on service ministry. I went on short term missions trips throughout my youth group experience. We traveled all over the place, from the suburbs of Connecticut to inner-city Philadelphia, even “boonieville” Kentucky! We did everything from hard manual labor to performance ministry. Our service projects could range from fundraisers to group fellowship. I didn't realize until much later in life, how blessed I was to have youth leaders so intent on giving students the opportunity to help others.
The age of youth is such an important time to be exposed to volunteer service and selfless labor. Probably because most teenagers are least inclined to really want to do it, but when they do... it's influences and effects on one's life is dynamic and transformative.
I remember how I felt serving the Lord through ministry a a teen. It was new and a bit daunting, but I loved doing it. Though majorly self-conscious and probably very annoying, I recall the smile on children’s faces as we led them in songs and dances about Jesus. I remember the shock and confusion in grown men’s eyes as we walked around decaying city streets offering to install smoke detectors in people’s homes. I physically remember the horrible poison ivy I got all over my face and arms after working to clean up a local man’s property, and the pride that came with it as I showed off my "battle wounds" of helpfulness. There was something enchanting about encouraging others through volunteer work.
It wasn't just about the service either that changed me. It was how I saw lives transformed through our volunteer work. God used used us! Do you know how incredible it feels that the supreme God of the universe uses YOU to complete His work?! He can use anyone and everyone. We just have to be willing to take a step of faith and do the work that isn't always fun or (in the moment) rewarding. Let me tell you though! God blesses those who serve in His name. I've seen and felt His presence in every service project I've been blessed to be a part of. While works don't save, they do melt stone hearts and plants seeds in soil that had long rejected growth. If you want to see God move, serve/aid/volunteer/help. In your home, at your church, school, in your community. Use the time you have to make someone else's life better. Life is more fulfilling and enriching when we, like Jesus, lower ourselves and care for His creation (man and animal alike!). Christian service is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful lessons I learned as an immature teen through my youth group.
I am so thankful to my youth leaders for instilling in me a desire and passion for Christian service. Their influence is seen even now when as an adult I find myself the faculty advisor of the local Interact Club leading teens in community service and volunteer aid. It is my desire that the Lord will use me to model service to my students in the same way that my youth leaders demonstrated and poured Godly service into me.