You may have heard the old adage, “no one has ever become poor by giving”. This resonates with us here at the College which is why we will continue to encourage our students to look towards the interests of others in both small and big ways. Whether it is holding the door open for someone, picking up rubbish that is not yours, volunteering to coach or mentor a younger student or partaking in one of the organised local or global service learning projects, the opportunities are continually there for the taking.
Media and advertising often tell our children that they are the most important people in the world and that they must be prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure their dreams are a success. It is our job as parents and teachers to balance this by modelling and encouraging a genuine interest in the well-being of others. Here are three simple things we can do to promote a servant heart in our children:
Explain why it is important to serve. Obviously, there are the proven benefits to ones own wellbeing when we look beyond ourselves but our children also need to understand the responsibility that comes when we live in community.
Children look to their parents for guidance on behaviour. Being someone who helps others and the environment is one of the clearest ways for them to understand its importance. Share stories of others serving in your community so your child can see examples of ways to help.
Organise activities where you are serving together as a family. Spend a morning picking up rubbish from the local park or beach, encourage your child to donate old clothes and toys to an Op shop rather than have a garage sale, or cook a meal together for a family who has a newborn. The list is endless.
There are myriad opportunities at the College for our students to serve, whether they are in Primary or Secondary. One of the opportunities that occurs on a weekly basis is St Andrew’s Serves. This is a partnership between our College, Sunshine Coast Anglicare and Peregian Shares and Cares. The aim of this program is for St Andrew’s students to serve those in our local community through performing simple house and garden tasks that could not ordinarily be achieved due to ill health, old age or disability. Secondary students have the opportunity to partake in this program during House Group time on a Thursday as well as outside school hours.
This year, let us continue to work together to raise young men and women who have the desire to be contributing members of their local and global communities. As the Apostle Paul says in the Bible, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.” (Galatians 5:13).
Mr Tim Barrett
HEAD OF COLLEGE MINISTRY