So you just got back from an Alternative Break trip or Urban Missions trip. You’re excited because you just had the time of your life. You knew it would be special, but had no clue that the relationships you developed over a simple week of service to others would have such a far reaching effect on you. These are memorable moments, ones you will look back on in life and say they had a hand in forming the person you are today. So now that you’re back on campus or in your hometown, how do you take what you learned and begin implementing in both your own personal life and community?
Understand, once you get back, your every day is not going to look like what it did when you were serving for a week. You have school, extracurricular activities, family, clubs, church, and many other things. It’s easy to get down on yourself and think you’re not doing “enough”. But we want to propose to you how you carry out a lifestyle or “marathon” if you will in living a life of service to others. This is not a sprint. This is something you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
Keep Up With The Relationships You’ve Established With Your Group
You’ve engaged in something special with these people. In fact, you’ve connected on one of the most humanly experiences with others. It’s what we were created to do and be, working together to serve. To serve one another and serve others. At Medici Project, we would encourage you to intentionally keep up with the relationships you’ve established with other students who went on the trip with you. On your way back home, schedule a follow up party two to four weeks out. Develop a Facebook Page to keep up with one another. Schedule coffee or a dinner date with a new friend. You will find out that these relationships will breath life into you more than others.
Find Something to Get Involved With in Your Local Community
We always tell students that a win for Medici Project is when you go back into your local community and begin engaging in service to others in some form or fashion. These opportunities are easy to find. Meet with the staff representative at your schools local chapter for civil engagement or service. Ask your student pastor. Ask your parents. If none of this works, google is possibly the most greatest resource that has ever been given to man.
Engage With Researching More Resources Regarding Service
Service to others is always going to be a learning process. What’s the right way to do it that actually brings meaningful help to others? How do I find time? How can I use my gifts and passions to serve others? How can I use creative outlets to serve others? There are some great resources out there to keep you interested in studying up for this type of lifestyle. Here are some of our favorites:
- Helping Without Hurting | Book
- Toxic Charity | Book
- Irresistible Revolution | Book
- Good Magazine | Magazine and Blog
- Stanford Social Innovation Review | Magazine and Blog
Look for Ways to Serve Everyday People Around You
You don’t have to go to the local homeless shelter or clothing closet to serve someone. There are people on your campus, at your school, at your church, and all kind of other places that need to be served. Part of the human experience is to connect, and one of the best ways to connect is serving others. Who are those individuals you see everyday that may need help with something? You can serve them too.
We hope these tips help you in developing out your desire to serve others. It’s what makes us human, and it’s why we at Medici Project do what we do. You are a part of this journey with us, a revolution if you will. Refusing to live a lifestyle of selfishness and a “me-centered” mentality. We can serve everyone at all times. Imagine how the world would be different.
Image used under the creative commons license courtesy of Lotus Carroll: http://bit.ly/1k2xOEL