The Heart of Service

Throughout Scripture, we are commanded to love and serve others. As a school which strives to pursue Jesus’ will in all that we teach, we cannot overlook this directive given to us by the Lord.  We believe it is important to encourage and foster opportunities for service.  As a result, all High School students are required to complete a minimum of 20 service hours each year.

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first, must be slave of all.”   Mark 10:43-44

According to Shannon Markum, High School Outreach and Service Coordinator, “The program is designed to give students the structure, guidelines and opportunities to practice the disciplines of service. We have chosen to emphasize serving people (as opposed to things like the environment, animals, etc.) as a direct response to the Greatest Commandment found in Matthew 22:35-39.”

“I’ve heard from so many students how blessed they have been because they are serving others,” said Mrs. Markum.  “Some started off serving out of a sense of obligation — because it was required of them by the school — but ended up finding incredible joy in doing something that helped someone else.”

Perhaps this explains why the majority of students exceeded the number of service hours they were required to complete.

For instance, during the 2018-19 school year, Samantha Zehring logged over 500 hours of verified service, serving children rescued from human trafficking in the United States. She planned and volunteered at fundraisers to provide opportunities for the rescued children to enjoy childlike experiences, and she planned and attended mission trips to build relationships with them. Upon returning from a trip last spring where she came alongside five girls, Samantha said, “It was so much fun growing with these girls! Two of them accepted Jesus and got baptized!”

Some students choose to serve in an area in which they, themselves, have been personally blessed. For Frank Hale, this place was Awana, a worldwide ministry focused on providing Bible-based evangelism and discipleship for children ages 2 – 18. Last year, he spent over 50 hours working with children in his home church’s Awana group. “I participated in this program myself beginning in 2nd grade. It has been rewarding to return to the program as a Youth Assistant, to be able to work with students and to encourage them to hide God’s word in their hearts,” said Frank.

“By having the opportunity to serve, our students experience how good it feels to make others feel loved and cared for, and they gain a better understanding of why God asks us to put others before ourselves,” said Mrs. Markum.  

Who Do We Serve?

Scripture  is very specific that we are to love everyone, but God tells us specifically to:

  • Visit orphans and widows – James 1:27
  • Show justice to the foreigner, fatherless and widow – Deuteronomy 24:17
  • Honor your father and mother – Matthew 19:19
  • Love your neighbor – Mark 12:31
  • Be hospitable to strangers – Hebrews 13:2
  • Remember those in prison and those who are mistreated – Hebrews 13:3
  • Give to the poor – Mark 10:21

How Do We Serve:  

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

It is our desire for students to serve in the same way that Jesus did, demonstrating:

  • Humility; never arrogance or any attitude that might make others feel less important
  • Compassion and without making others feel pitied
  • Respect regardless of others’ circumstances
  • Love; expecting nothing in return
  • Purpose and intention based on needs
  • Patience; always extending grace
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