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Service

 

A practical project in the community, focusing on: action, reflection, humility, following the example of Jesus
 

Rationale

In John 20:19-23, Jesus appeared to his disciples after he rose and told them that as the Father had sent him, so now he was sending them. In Matthew this appears in Matthew 20:18-20 and is called the Great Commission. It is the call to make disciples of all the nations. Service defines what it means to be a Christian. The NT uses the term disciple, which by definition is not someone who simply knows what their teacher says but does what their teacher says. Specifically there are two commissions, one general and the other specific. The general commission which dates from creation is the call to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. The specific commission, called the Great Commission, is the call to proclaim the Gospel to all people and make disciples of the nations. Both are expressions of service and define how Jesus lived, who humbled himself to the point of dying on the cross, Philippians 2:1-11, and define how we are to live.
 
The Bible sees truth as only finally being truth when it is lived out. In James 1 it warns us that a failure to put into action what we hear from God leads to us deceiving ourselves. We think we are something we are not. We may be deceived, but God is not! So, Christianity means action. It must be expressed in acts of service and devotion or it is false. So, we are called to love God, to love others and to proclaim the good news about Jesus. Faith becomes real at that point when we obey God, as does the reality of God when he meets us on the road. Students, as they move into adulthood, must take up the mantle of faith and action if their faith it to be real.
 
The focus of this unit is a practical project of some kind which embraces either or both of the commissions God has given us.
 

Key Concepts

  • To be a Christian means to be sent even as Jesus was sent
  • To be a Christian means to be a servant
  • The call to love God and love others as the foundational nature of God's intention for us from the beginning
  • The specific call to love our neighbour
  • The specific call to tell people about Jesus as the task given to the Church in this age
  • How are these two related?
  • Why should we do good to others? Lots of possible motivations
 

Scripture References

See Missions unit for further references
Matthew 16:24-28 - take up our cross daily
Mark 10:42-45 - the greatest will be a servant to all, just as Jesus did not come to be served but to serve
John 20:19-23 - sent by Jesus as the Father sent him
Philippians 2:1-11 - Jesus humbled himself to die as a criminal on the cross
Matthew 22:34-40 & Luke 10:25-37 - The call to love God and love our neighbour & the Good Samaritan
Matthew 28:16-20 - The Great Commission 
James 1:19- 27 ‘not just hearers of the word but doers’ ‘looking after orphans and widows’
Isaiah 58: 3-12 - What is the worship God requires? If you do away with the yoke of oppression, satisfy the needs of the oppressed, feed the hungry. The true fast is to put others first and serve them.. 
 

Resources

See local churches and groups for opportunities to serve
Listing of some various Christian Organisations:
 

Ideas/Strategies for Lessons

Projects do not need to be done within the time frame of a term but may be organised as required
Look at organizations/local churches working in Perth and arrange for students to do service with them
Make a study into the Salvation army – William Booth and the history of service in the name of Jesus, Mother Theresa, Manna (in Victoria Park) feeding the hungry.
Do of brief study of Christian service throughout the ages as background
Remote Aboriginal Communities, sharing experiences and value systems (Excursions)
Mentoring between older students and younger ones
Serving a different culture in order to challenge their self-centred bias.
Service in the College – audio, canteen
Mission trips
Student initiated projects