Last evening the CSF students performed their first service project of the semester. CSF’s Tuesday night meetings rotate between social nights (when I usually dominate at Settlers of Catan), service projects (such as last evening, which we’ll get to in a minute) or other special, random events.
For our first service evening of the year we decided to walk up and down the halls in the dorms, knocking on doors, and asking students if they would like us to take their trash out. Apparently students hate doing this and often put it off way too long. The primary reason is probably that the dumpsters are about a mile away from the dorms! So when we were thinking of practical ways to reach out to the student body on campus, taking out their trash seemed like a great idea.
We broke into groups and went opposite directions. I ended up with three other guys. In retrospect, we probably should have had a more gender-integrated group as I am pretty sure we freaked out some female students. There was one girl who was walking back to her room as we knocked on her door! Imagine being a female college student, coming to your dorm, and four guys are standing right there waiting for you. Creepy! But once we explained we were from Christian Student Fellowship and would like to take out her trash, everything was okay.
It was quite fun to see the reaction of students. Many who had trash told us that we did not need to do this for them. Our response was that we did not have to, but we wanted to. Other students seemed apologetic as they had just taken their trash out earlier in the day. A few students were excited to see us, as they had desired to get involved in CSF but had not gotten around to finding us yet.
It was also encouraging to see the Christian students tackle this ministry with excitement. I was a bit nervous that this was something 2-3 students thought was a good idea, and the rest were just reluctantly going along with it. But it seemed all the students had a blast. They WANTED their peers’ trash! In the name of Jesus!
To me, this is what ministry is all about: getting outside of our comfort zones and serving those closest to us in practical ways. In performing deeds we then have the opportunity to speak truth. Jesus was always performing great acts like healing people and feeding multitudes and then from this speaking truth about spiritual things. I doubt the two can be separated. Or to put it another way, you cannot talk the talk without walking the walk.
Finally, I saw a hilarious saying written on one of the white boards in the dorms: “When life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic” . I am still laughing about that one!