What I learned about serving this year

During the last two years I have experienced serving in radically new ways. Last year I was a resident assistant at Northwestern College; essentially a substitute parent for 34 men. That entire school year I learned a lot about leadership and what it means to lead men in Gospel community. This was a great experience, and it gave me the opportunity to be around other leaders. Even so, I have learned far more about serving this year since being in LDI.

I am no longer a student in college, which feels very different, but I am a part of a church staff. Being on the inside circle at Hope has taught me so much about serving and sacrificing. It is not always easy, but it has taught me more about myself and how truly selfish we can all be. I truly enjoy building others up through service, but I must humble myself in order to serve with a pure heart, since a desire for self-glorification can arise even during the most sincere service. Serving out of true love and desire to bless others is one of the many ways that LDI has blessed me.

I find it extremely important to serve alongside others. It is draining to feel alone in service, but the nice thing about being a part of a community like Hope is that there are constantly people around you who are also serving. I have found that many other people desire to serve and bless. My small group tries to do a service project at least once a semester in order to serve together, which allows us to be in community while intentionally loving others.

A recent example of serving in my life was Study Day. Study Day is a day in which LDIers have a significant role in the behind-the-scenes work that makes church service effective and successful. My primary role was transporting students to and from campus, which allowed them to participate in all that Study Day had to offer. The night prior, there was a huge snowstorm that made driving conditions far from ideal. But, in the midst of this chaos, I found great joy in serving the students. In addition to driving that day, I found myself clearing sidewalks and preparing food as other acts of service. Overall, Study Day was a great day because I was able to serve out of the overflow of my heart rather than for self-recognition or gain.

Some cool places to serve that I have experienced, or places that others like, are:Feed My Starving Children, food shelters, Boys and Girls Club’s, etc. My encouragement to you is to lead others around you in pure hearts for the sake of the Gospel. Encourage those around you to serve.

Fighting alongside of all of you,

– Josh Thoreson

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