Happy to Serve

It's really important for a Christian to have a heart like Jesus.

Karen Holford writes creative worships for children from her home on a Scottish hillside. 


Editor's note: See PDF for the accompanying pictures and activities (p. 22):



It's really important for a Christian to have a heart like Jesus. Lots of people are greedy, proud, and want their own way all the time. But Jesus said that's not the way to be happy at all, and those people will end up feeling lonely and miserable. Jesus knows that we're happiest when we serve others first, just as He did. 


Many famous people in the Bible served others cheerfully, lovingly, and generously. Read their stories, find out what they did, and discover how they blessed others by their simple, kind actions. To find some of the answers, you might have to read farther than the verses listed. 


Design a pin/badge that says "How can I help you?" Draw your design neatly on a circle of cardstock and tape a safety pin to the back. Wear it and see what happens. Write down what you do and how it makes people happy.


Make some colorful signs for your home. Choose from these phrases, or make up your own phrase to encourage service to others:

Whenever I do the smallest thing for someone else, I am really doing it for Jesus. 

What can I do today to show someone how much Jesus loves them?

What can I do to be kind to a lonely person today?

What’s the best thing I could do to help my mom or dad today?


Experimenters try out different things, sometimes secretly, and then watch carefully to see what happens. Why don't you experiment to discover the unepected joy that results from serving others. 

Make a list of things you could do simply and safely to serve others in your home, just as Jesus did. Then do them secretly.

After completing your Secret Service, write what happened in your secret notebook:

What I did ...

Who noticed first?

What did they say?

What did they do?

What do I think they were feeling?

What effect did this have on my family?

When I was doing my Secret Service, I felt ...

The next Secret Service I plan to do is ...


Make someone a drink

Make someone’s bed

Clean their shoes

Clean the bath or shower

Sweep or vacuum the floor

Tidy up someone else’s things

Do someone’s chores as a surprise

Empty the garbage with a cheerful smile on your face

Mow the lawn

Clean up after a pet

Feed your pet



Cut out a white paper heart and write a prayer on it.

  • Thank Jesus for loving you and for putting you first by dying to save you.
  • Thank Jesus for making you feel so special deep inside that you don't have to brag to feel good.
  • Ask Jesus to help you have a heart like His and put other people first.
  • Ask Him to hlp you be happy with just who you are, so you don't have to act proud or push yourself to the top. 


Jesus told His disciples to be content with being at the end of the line or at the far end of the table. He said we don't have to push ourselves forward or be first all the time, because He's taking care of us. We're always special to Him.

When we put others down, we all feel unhappy. But when we give them a boost, we all feel happier.

Think about these different situations. What could you do to put the other person's needs first, rather than your own? What would Jesus do? 

  • Your friend badly wanted to win a class prize, but someone else won first place, and you won second. What kind words could you say to your disappointed friend, and what could you say to the person who won?
  • Your mom is really busy and asks you to help with a messy job that you don’t like. What can you say and do to help her feel happy?
  • Your little sister is being teased at school. What could you say to help her feel happy, and what could you say to the bully?
  • You are waiting in a line at a potluck, but a very hungry and miserable little boy is standing behind you. What could you do and say?
  • Mom has made your favorite dessert. Everyone has had a piece, with one piece left over. You really want it, but so does your sister. What can you do?
  • You are playing in the park and waiting for a turn on your favorite swing. A younger child also wants a turn on that swing. What can you do and say?