For Christians in the past and today’s world, community service has been one of the cornerstones of true discipleship. Borrowing a leaf from what Christ Himself initiated, we can learn from His example by identifying with different communities at different levels. The truth is, we’re all part of a global community, stretching from the boundary of our homes to the furthest habitable part of the globe.
As young adult followers, being part of an authentic, healthy community molds us to look beyond ourselves and see the needs of others with whom we coexist.
In the apostolic age, Paul upheld community service as one of the basic tenets of Christianity. From Thessalonica to Philippi, he cherished the character of a true disciple, looking beyond his personal needs and establishing and nurturing new churches amidst heavy opposition from the Jews. He was gentle and loving, even as much as he suffered in the hands of his opponents.
Our role in community service as students is dual-purposed. 1) We need to be aware of our community. What are the communal needs of our campuses and our neighborhoods, nationally and internationally? 2) Once we are aware, we need to be actively involved to make a difference.
In any capacity that suits our capability, we’re called as young stewards to respond with a positive gesture toward the needs of our communities. So what are some specific habits of a healthy community? What are some specific ways we can impact the global community?
Serving With Love (John 13:34-35)
Christ told His disciples to serve each other selflessly as a testament to their commitment to discipleship. Loving one another is the distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s disciples. Love blesses the recipient and the giver.
Be Part of Something Bigger (Ephesians 4:1-16)
We’re part of a larger community of Christ, the church. Our relationships with others in the church are important for our emotional and spiritual health. Examine yourself. What gifts do you have that can benefit others? How can you better involve yourself in the life of your church community?
Using Spiritual Gifts for His Service (Romans 12:6-8)
We’ve been created with specific gifts for service and endowed with various economic blessings. In the communities you cannot help personally, reach out with finances or materials.
As a true disciple you should give of yourself without any intention of getting anything back.
Benefiting From Serving Others (Acts 20:35)
By serving others selflessly, we derive happiness and satisfaction. What can you do with your friends to strengthen the relationships within your community?
Excerpted from the Fall 2010 issue of Collegiate Magazine.