Ten years ago I spent nine days with a group of students serving at an orphanage in Venezuela and I held an orphan in my arms for the first time. I had read about these types of orphanages, I’d spoken to people who’d been there, I’d researched the country of Venezuela, but none of these things ignited any kind of passion in my heart. Holding that child in my hands that day, however, was a moment I was changed forever. It was the beginning of 10 years of serving with students at orphanages all over the world.
The fastest way to a person’s heart is through their hands.
It’s not that teaching, small groups, and Bible studies aren’t effective, but it’s serving that ignites a passion in the hearts of people. It’s what moves faith from the pages of scripture and makes it real. This is why it’s so vital that we do our best to give students an incredible experience serving in our church community, local community and global community. If we don’t, they’re missing a vital piece in their spiritual growth that moves truth from head to heart.
When students serve like Jesus on the outside, they become more like Him on the inside.
By not providing opportunities for students to engage in serving within our churches regularly, we potentially rob them of the most life changing opportunity we have as followers of Jesus, being a part of God’s story. When students move from observers to participants in ministry, they begin to own their faith; from head to heart.
Instilling a heart for serving, and equipping students to make a difference means we’re passing the baton to the next generation. We’re giving God the opportunity to change hearts that want something from the kingdom to hearts that want something for it. That means an impact that ripples long into the future. CEOs, nurses, plumbers, pastors, lawyers that have a heart to change the world with the love of Jesus, that’s the big picture.
So, we’d love to hear, what ways do you plug your students into ministry opportunities? Where have you seen life change as a result?