When I was growing up in the church, almost every activity happened on church grounds.
We held services, did Bible Study, and even hosted big special events where we invited our unchurched friends to come TO our church.
When I entered the youth department, I was excited for 2 weeks of the year…youth camp…and the youth mission trip.
Both were exciting and very different from every other “church” thing we had done. We were able to enter a different part of the world and engage with people we had never known before.
What I found, especially on the youth mission trip, is that serving others is good for my soul.
It may not be good for my schedule or my wallet, but it was infinitely valuable to that part of me that determines who I really am.
For the last couple of years, through the leadership of Kim Rogers, we have had the opportunity to partner with a great ministry in town, Widows Harvest. They are focused on bringing unrelated groups together to care for widows who are not able to take care of all of their own needs themselves. They help provide food and maintenance of their homes, many of which are in great need of repair.
Last Christmas, many of our Journey families contributed food and daily necessities so that every person in the Widows Harvest community received a huge box of supplies to not just make it through the winter, but to be confident their needs were met.
It was a great gift and I know many families were blessed to be apart of blessing those in need. Additionally, we volunteer about once a quarter to work at a home that is in need of care.
Sometimes we rake, sometimes we clean, sometimes we scrape, sometimes we paint and sometimes we do minor repairs.
No matter what we do, it is always met with an incredible amount of love and appreciation by the leaders of Widows Harvest and the woman we are serving.
Experiences like this have taught me that personally taking time to serve others is worth the time and the investment.
More than donating supplies, getting involved does something inside of me.
I re-prioritize my time to be less about us (our family) and more about others.
I am reminded how thankful I am for our lives as we care for those who are struggling a bit more.
I see my kids growing in their understanding of community and care.
I know that I am reflecting the heart of Jesus, which is everything for those who truly want to follow Him.
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25–28 (ESV)
If you are used to having all of your “church” activities at the church, I encourage you to step outside, find someone that you can serve, and see for yourself that serving is good for your soul.