Here to Love, Here to Serve Week

For the past few years, my family has participated in Capstone Church’s annual week-long initiative in February known as Here to Love, Here to Serve. It has sincerely become one of our favorite weeks of the whole year, especially so as our children grow and get increasingly excited to give. The goal of this week is to encourage individuals and families to serve those around them, and there are certain prompts each day that give guidance on where to serve. Although Capstone provides the direction and gives corporately in various ways, it’s up to you and me to decide if, how, and what we give. 

The first few years that we made it a priority, we kept our gifts very simple and small, only blessing a handful of people. We build on that every year, and then in 2019 we took it a step further by adding a line to our budget for that specific week. Why does that matter? Because we were no longer giving what we had leftover at that point; we were creating margin in our lives to give with intention. Since then, we have increased what we save and give financially a little more each year; and as we increase what we give, we are able to expand our reach by giving to more people each year. Sometimes it’s one more person, and that is enough. Our motivation from year to year is never to outdo the previous year; it is simply to do what we can with what we have (as the famous quote inspires).

Our children are 8 and 5 now, and there is so much that we hope they learn from us as they continue to grow up. We expect there will be plenty they will learn in spite of us, as well as learning what not to do, too. But on the long list of things we hope they learn from us, this is one of the most important lessons we hope sticks: giving generously and blessing others is the best way to have fun. To go a little further into the deep end, our prayer is not that they simply have fun giving and grow up to be good people; it’s that they would loosen their grip on this world and hold the Father’s hand instead of holding onto their things. Honestly, we can fool ourselves as adults into thinking that being a good, kind person is the point of giving. But we give because Christ gave. We give because generosity is our heritage, and we desire for all to be wooed to their Creator.

That’s what this week is all about.

We love because Christ loves (1 John 4:19). We serve because Christ serves (Matthew 20:28).

So, how can we be Here to Love and Here to Serve in simple but profound ways? Here are some ideas as this week approaches:
-Neighbors & Coworkers
  • Write a card or note to tell them something you appreciate about them
  • Ask your coworker what their favorite candy or snack is and surprise them with it
  • Invite a neighbor over for dinner
  • Buy a $5 gift card for your neighbor(s) and deliver it to them

-City Employees & First Responders
  • Write a letter to a city official thanking them for all they do
  • Take a snack basket to your local police and/or fire station
  • If you know a City Employee or First Responder personally, make them a meal and deliver it to them

  • If you have a child(ren) in school, give a gift and/or thoughtful note to their teacher
  • Take flowers or donuts to the front office of a nearby school to add some brightness to their day
  • If you know someone personally who works for a school (teacher, administration, custodial staff, etc), send them a card thanking them for what they do (and even include a gift card for them if you’re feeling extra generous)

  • If you know a Veteran personally, write them a card to say thank you (again, including a gift card is almost always a good idea)
  • Support a Veteran-owned business
  • Donate to an organization that supports Veterans

-Random Act of Kindness
  • Go for a walk around your neighborhood with gloves and a trash bag and pick up any debris you see on the ground
  • Take a snack basket to your local library for the librarians to enjoy
  • Send a text to someone you appreciate or respect that you’ve never told…and tell them!
  • Send a Venmo for coffee to a friend to remind them that they are loved

I used to think that the best gifts were the ones I asked for or the cool, trendy gifts that my friends had. As I’ve grown older (and grown up, because those are different), I’ve settled on this: the best gifts are the ones that remind you that someone thought about you.

Amazingly enough, it’s usually simple things that do just that.

“Faith in Jesus foregrounds the trust that says, “I love my neighbor because she is mine, and not because she loves me back.”
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Gospel Comes With a House Key

Anna Bargeron, guest blogger