“…whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26)
One year for Trick-or-Treat, my friend wore one of those black and white French maid outfits, complete with the feather duster and high heels. Although her mom had advised her not to wear the heels, she did it anyway. And it didn’t take long until she was absolutely miserable because her feet were in such pain. Sometimes when I hear the word “servant” this is the image I get in my head. A maid is there to serve, to meet whatever demands are placed upon her. She might look good on the outside, but could be really hurting inside.
Similar to that, the image of June Cleaver and the 1950’s housewife also comes to mind when I hear the word “servant”. She was that put together wife smiling as she vacuumed the house in her dress and pearls. Sometimes I think that’s what is expected of me as a stay-at-home-mom.
Other times I think of perhaps one of the truest servants of all, Mother Theresa. Serving in the slums of Calcutta for many years, she literally gave everything she had to those around her. Although I have much admiration for this woman, it can also me feel so inadequate in the things that I do.
The Bible is clear that God did indeed call each of us to be servants. But that doesn’t mean that we have to do everything someone demands of us. It doesn’t mean that we have to present a particular image. And it doesn’t even mean that we have to move to an impoverished country and sell everything we have (although for some of us, it just might!).
Regardless of what season of life you’re in, there are small, simple acts that can be done everyday to serve those around you and ultimately, to serve Christ. Many of these you probably already do. These are not devote your life to full-time ministry type of things. These are easy and practical ways to develop a servant’s heart. Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…”. When we serve others in these simple ways, we are serving the Lord.
Here are 29 Simple Ways to serve:
1. Do the laundry
2. Take care of the house (cleaning, yardwork, dishes, etc.)
3. Cook meals for your family and for others (new moms, crisis situations, deaths)
4. Create Blessing Bags for people who are homeless or offer to go with them to buy a meal somewhere (while talking and praying with them).
5. Babysit another moms kids so she can have a break
6. Go over and visit with an elderly neighbor (while there ask if you can run any errands for them or help with anything around the house)
7. Send a card to (or text) someone in need of some encouragement
8. Pick up trash around your neighborhood or at a local park
9. Buy some extra canned goods the next time you’re getting groceries and take them to a food bank
10. Clean out closets and playrooms so that you can donate items you don’t need anymore
11. Find somewhere to volunteer once a week (homeless shelter, hospital, boys and girls club, pregnancy center, etc.)
12. Get up early and make breakfast for your husband before he leaves for work
13. Ask your child’s teacher if there is anything you can do to help her (making copies, buying supplies, listening to kids read, cutting stuff out, etc.)
14. Volunteer at your church (nursery, youth ministry, greeter, worship team, etc.)
15. Show hospitality by inviting others into your home
16. Thank a service member for what they do by sending them a care package
17. Take time to be with your kids- play, read, teach, and disciple them
18. With your money- tithe to your local church, donate to organizations like Compassion International, and support missionaries
19. Use your individual talents to help others (Computer skills, building, gardening, finances, sewing, working on vehicles, etc.)
20. Just be friendly (smile, hug, say hi, hold the door open, etc.)
21. Use your creativity (artwork, songwriting, scrapbooking, writing, blogging, etc.)
22. Humble ourselves- put others needs and preferences before our own
23. In a drive thru, pay for the meal of the person behind you
24. Help someone having car trouble on the side of the road -even if you have no knowledge, check to make sure they are okay and have a phone to call for help
25. Have good sportsmanship- whether it’s you playing or your kid
26. When around other people, put your phone away- let those you’re with know that they are important to you and that they have your full attention
27. Include others who may be feeling left out or don’t fit in
28. Write a thank you note to someone
29. Tell others about Jesus! There is no better service that we could ever do for anyone!