I’m issuing a challenge to anyone who thinks they have a heart big enough to accept it:
For seven days in a row, I challenge you to do
at least one act of service for someone else.
Here’s the rules:
1) There are none – other than performing this intentional act at least once a day.
2) There will be no regulation of how big or small your act of service can be.
3) There will also be no prize or recognition. An act of service is a benefit to someone else and has no strings attached.
It doesn’t have to be something that will make headlines… it can be something simple because all the simple things add up to something really big! Greatness is not made up of one great big thing, it’s a combination of many great little things. Tom Brady is not the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) because of one game. It’s the preparation and practice that leads to the precision of execution that makes him great. And so it is with having a servant’s heart.
Why a service challenge?
Let me start from the beginning. I was inspired recently by one of those simple, little things someone else does while putting others first. Each Sunday as I drive up a hill, around a curve through one of the entrances to my church, I see a lone vehicle. You see, Executive Pastor Jim Johnston parks in the parking space farthest away from the building. It’s not because he enjoys the walk, but rather he enjoys serving others. Though on nice days, I’m sure the walk is not bad either.
This is a small way in which Jim serves others – he selflessly gives up a closer parking space so others may benefit from not having to walk in the heat or inclement weather. He didn’t do this for recognition or so someone would write a blog about it. He did it because he has a servant’s heart.
Another example that caught my attention was that of one of the college students I work with and invest in, Alex Szymanski, a student at the University of Central Florida. When I met with him in August, he gave me a post card addressed to my wife. Through his words, he shared the impact I have made on his life. He didn’t just share this with me, he went the extra mile and shared it with someone important in my own life. He didn’t have to do that, but it was because he realizes the value of making others feel special. (And I don’t include this to brag… I just think this was a thoughtful gesture from a college student that goes beyond a plain thank you).
For me personally, I have a self-imposed service challenge of 30 days. My personal service efforts have ranged from the small and seemingly insignificant to bigger things that take lots more time and effort. All in all though – they are each as important as the one the day before.
Examples have included:
- Taking letters to the post office for someone short on time
- Donating clothing for a clothing drive
- Helping a stranger unload a refrigerator at the dump
- Taking the kids to school so my wife could sleep in
- Participating in a county-wide service day with my church: painting, cleaning, weeding at a local school
- Donating to the Texas flood relief
- Helping a friend move furniture
- And the all-important gesture of love: Giving my daughter my last Chick-fil-A fry
I encourage anyone who reads this to do a little self-reflection and think about all the ways you can serve others for the glory of God rather than the glory of self. I have found my attitude and heart change significantly when service is at the center of the love I show others. We are all God’s people. Show His compassion. Share His love. You will be amazed what comes out of your efforts.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
– Hebrews 6:10