I wanted to take a few minutes and highlights a couple of ways our students have stepped up and served in some big ways in the past few weeks.
On Friday, December 7, our children’s ministry had a Birthday Party for Jesus. The goal being to give parents a chance to get away, do some Christmas shopping or in the case of me and my wife, go to dinner without the kids. The children’s minister asked for our students to volunteer to do games, lead lines, help with food, crafts, and generally be available to help in any way. We had over 85 register and when Friday rolled around we had over 100 students show up and help. For the students I’ve talked with, I think they enjoyed being a part as much as the kids!! It’s really cool to see our students show up and lead the younger kids in our church. I think it helps create a culture of service, because when those kids in the children’s ministry get a little older they want to help out like they saw the older kids do when they were younger.
The second way our students have served came last Sunday. For several years our women’s ministry at the church has been involved in adopting an apartment complex, River Oaks. For the past several weeks each grade has been collecting different gift items like art supplies, basketball/footballs, notebooks, hats, gloves, and toys. On Sunday morning we got the entire student ministry together to decorate and pack bags for the kids. Then, despite the rain, we went to River Oaks and played games, made crafts, had pizza, a telling of the Christmas story using M&Ms, and sang some Christmas carols. It was a great time to see our students laughing and playing with younger kids in our city. To see the kids faces light up when they saw the pizza and the brighten even more when the gifts were given was a sight to be seen!!!
Both of these instances set up wonderfully the idea that giving of ourselves is truly a blessing. Our God is a generous God who now only gives us good gifts like family and friends, a house to live in, meeting our basic needs, but a God that loves us enough to send His Son for us. That’s what we celebrate in this season. The birth of our Savior, Immanuel-God with us.