I was recently challenged by a couple people because I said that I wanted to replace some of our “fun” and “outreach” events with service events. I said that they would be fun, “outreachy” and help fulfill the call to serve. One person outright laughed at me, while others were skeptical whether or not it could be done.
Tomorrow night is our second “Service event”. We will be baking goods and taking them down to a local shelter. The first time we did the event we had a bunch of students who rarely come out to events want to come because it is fun to bake, and they loved the idea of doing it for the homeless in our community. And a bonus is that we have the same kind of attendance for doing it again tomorrow.
So what was the trick? Finding a way your students would love to serve. I have a huge group of girls that love baking, even the girls who don’t love it come because their friends are into it. And then the boys come because the girls are coming. We even have group who come because they are passionate about Social Justice.
Students will serve if you find their niche. I had a student ask if we could get together as a group and bake some cookies and cupcakes… so I took that idea and simply added a service aspect. I am pretty sure if you looked at things your students were passionate about, you would find things you could turn into service events.
These times of serving could be run in a number of different ways. Have a small or mid sized youth group? Get all the students together and do it as a big baking party. Have a huge size ministry? Do it in pockets as a small group event.
This may seem like common sense but I know for myself, I have overlooked so many opportunities because I didn’t think to put a student together with a service option. I am still working on it and don’t have it all figured out yet, but the more I look, the more opportunities I find.
What are some ways you have found that gets students to serve?
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years and blogs exclusively here on LoveGodLoveStudents.com. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. Hit him up on Twitter @CorbinKyle