Simple Acts of Service in Christ’s Love Produce Great Results3 min read

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 ESV).

The goal was 1,500 cans. The student council at Trinity Lutheran School in Utica, Mich. wanted to put on a service project just before Christmas break, so they decided to run a canned food drive to donate to a church in Detroit. Working with different adults, they did everything they were supposed to, getting information out to the school community and creating incentives for classrooms to get excited (who doesn’t want a comfy clothes week?). The school was given one week to reach 1,500 cans in this act of service. Apparently, the student council underestimated the students at Trinity, because they donated over 22,000 food items! Almost fifteen times over the goal! The hallways were stuffed with food, and even the church receiving the donations did not have enough room, so we ended up giving to other organizations as well. This logistical problem was truly a good problem to have. We were impressed with the results of the project, and many people in the area have been blessed through the students’ actions. They showed their love for Christ through their actions, providing an incredible response to a call to serve. I know every Lutheran school has had opportunities like this, and this is part of what makes Lutheran schools so special.

To be a part of this incredible response was a blessing. As Christians, we are called to serve others in any way we can. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us to use whatever gifts we have to serve others. The simple act of donating food is an act of service that can go a long way to helping others, and having hundreds of students do this produces the amazing results we had at Trinity. I have asked my students how a single person in 7th grade can make a difference, and this food drive was a perfect answer. We all have gifts, talents, and blessings we can use to serve others, whether simply donating food or volunteering to serve in church; service doesn’t have to involve money or material items.

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The reason Lutheran schools exist is to provide an education with Christ at the core. Jesus said He came to serve and not be served, and in Lutheran schools we take this example seriously. We want our students to share the story of Christ’s mercy by following His example. At Trinity, this is evident in our students. One of the most important days of the year comes in the spring where there is a designated service day, called “Nerve to Serve.” Almost the whole school is involved in some sort of project, including packaging lunches for the social ministry program or cleaning a local community garden. Having witnessed Nerve to Serve days, I can say that students have learned from Christ’s example and act as witnesses to everything He has done for them. As we celebrate Lutheran Schools Week, let’s challenge our students to use the gifts God has given them to serve Him. Just like Trinity’s students met their goal fifteen times over, you’ll be surprised by the results!

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About the Author

John Lucas teaches 7th and 8th grade social studies and religion at Trinity Lutheran School in Utica, Mich.

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