Developing Servant Hearts in Our Families
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Psalm 100:1-2
- Pray about where and how your family is called to serve. How can we best use the gifts and talents God has given us at this time in our life? We are not called to do everything – especially all at once. Look for opportunities that fit your family’s ages and talents.
- Adopt the attitude a pastor has with his brother priests . . . “Outdo one another in generosity.”
- Modeling service toward spouse and children is how we best teach. Our children will learn to serve by our witness of selfless service to our spouse, children and community and providing them with opportunities to do the same.
- Remember to be grateful and thank whoever has been kind enough to serve. We do not want to take one another for granted.
- Do little things with love – without grumbling or expectation of return.
- Pray for one another.
- Extend and receive mercy & forgiveness.
Some suggestions for practical areas for service:
- Tithe (give 10% of your income to the Church and charity) Teach your children to give with their allowances or money they receive as gifts.
- We extend a great service when we choose to live simply as a family so that we can help others who lack even basic necessities.
- Adopt an elderly person in a nursing home – visit monthly or more if possible – this works well even with young children.
- Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen
- Volunteer with Special Olympics or Challenger – programs for the mentally handicapped
- Make meals for families who have just had a new baby or a family who is experiencing an illness or death in the family.
- Make a meal and deliver it to a needy family for a holiday.
- Help an elderly person or someone whose family is experiencing illness with household chores or yard work.
- Make blankets or scarves, hats or mitten for the homeless.
- Make up small bags of toiletry items or non-perishable food items etc. for the homeless.
- Adopt a family at Christmas. Buy gifts and food. Pray for them. This is a great way to make sacrifices in our own Christmas celebration in the way of material goods so that another family can have necessities.
- Serve in the Church. There are many opportunities to serve through the organizations in a parish. For example: in the religious education program; as a lector, Eucharistic Minister, altar server or music minister; or perhaps your family can help in cleaning or gardening on the grounds of the Church.
- The list is endless.