8 Powerful Ways to Serve With Lasting Impact

How does one leave a lasting impact on those they serve?

When you express God’s love in a practical way, you enter into a partnership with the Spirit of God Himself.  This selfless act of service literally attracts the Holy Spirit. In effect, your act of kindness invites the Holy Spirit to revive, refresh, and rejuvenate their soul.  This is the secret to serving for maximum impact.

Below are 10 powerful ways in which you can partner with the Holy Spirit to have a long lasting impact on those you serve.

Find a Mom at Checkout, and Offer to Help Her Put Her Groceries in Her Car

Usually, a Mom who has just finished grocery shopping with her kids, is tired and probably frustrated.  She simply wants to get her kids in the car and make her way home.  If you were to her get her groceries in the trunk of her car for her, you would help alleviate the stress that she is feeling, and your act of kindness would not be forgotten.

Remember, your purpose is to give, not get. 

Don’t use this as an opportunity to “witness” to her.  Simply demonstrate the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit minister to her.  Sorry guys, but this one is only for Women.  Assuming that it is a Mom grocery shopping with with her kids, only a woman can minister in this capacity (or a husband and wife could).  The reason for this is that you don’t want the “Mom” to think that you are hitting on her, or that you want anything in return for your act of kindness.  In this case, Women should minister to women, and men should minister to men.

Have “Papa Johns” or “Domino’s Pizza” Delivered

Order pizza and have it delivered to your next door neighbor for dinner.  Be sure that all expenses are paid for (including tip), prior to delivery.  If they usually get home from work at 5:30 pm, ensure that the pizza is delivered at 5:45 pm.  You may even want to put a post-it note on their door that reads, 

“Dinner is on me tonight.  I just wanted to express God’s love in a practical way.  your pizza will arrive at 5:45 pm, everything has already been paid for and taken care of, even the tip.  Enjoy!”. 

Just be certain that you do not sign your name, or let them know who did this for them.  Remember, you are expressing God’s love in a practical way.  If you remain anonymous and un-named, the Lord receives ALL of the glory.  The moment you are identified in any way with this act of kindness, you rob the Father of the glory and take it as your own.

Again, don’t preach the Gospel. Demonstrate the Gospel. Don’t identify your church, or attach a “tract” to your note. Stay completely anonymous and trust the Holy Spirit.

Engage in Conversation for the Purpose of Listening

Another way to serve with lasting impact is to engage in conversation for the sole purpose of listening to the one sharing with you. All too often, we engage in conversation so that we can convey our opinion. 

Be honest, when was the last time that you engaged in conversation with no hope or expectation of being heard?  Genuinely listening to someone speaks volumes.  It shows that you really care about them.  You don’t need to “council”, . . . just listen.

I can’t over-emphasize just how important it is to listen.  Don’t speak.  Let Holy Spirit speak.  You just need to sit there and listen with an empathizing ear.  The Holy Spirit is the great Counselor.  He knows what questions to ask them, and His questions will always address the heart of the issue.

I encourage you to be on the lookout for other opportunities to partner with the Holy Spirit.  You will find that as you look for such opportunities, you will find that they arise all the time, every day. 

Remember, when you start serving others with love, you attract the Holy Spirit, who will then do the real ministering. 

The last thing you want to do is get in His way, or rob the person who is sharing with you, the opportunity to be ministered to by the Holy Spirit.

Shovel Your Neighbor’s Driveway Before they Wake Up 

A snow blizzard presents a tremendous opportunity for you to leave a huge impact on your neighbor.  I can tell you first hand that there is no greater joy than to wake up after a snow blizzard, only to find that your driveway is completely snow-free.

This really works best if you, or your neighbor, already has a snow-blower that you use to clear out your driveway.  The advantage here, is that the owner of the house of the driveway that you are clearing will think that you are clearing out your driveway, and not theirs.

A few years ago, we were hit with about 30 inches of snow in a 24 hour period.  We were snowed in.  Everybody was snowed in for a week.  Unbeknownst to my wife and I, early in the morning, while we were still asleep, the neighbor across the street used his snow-blower to remove all the snow from our driveway.  It must have taken him at least an hour to do, and when I woke up that morning to start the process of shoveling out our driveway with a literal snow-shovel, boy was I surprised to find that it was already done.  I was completely blown away.

Acts of kindness like this leave long lasting impressions, but when carried out with the love of the Father, that’s where real impressions are made.  The Father will take what you have done and minister in ways that you can’t fathom, because you don’t know the issues of their heart, but the Father does.

Use a Leaf Blower on Your Neighbor’s Lawn While They Are Not Home

Raking leaves takes forever, and is probably of the devil.  OK, I’m kidding about the devil part, but it does take forever.  Each year, you have a big opportunity to minister to the neighbor who has the most leaves all over their lawn.  Or, perhaps you may want to do this for an elderly couple who can’t rake leaves, or would find it incredibly difficult to do.

As is the case in shoveling snow, you don’t want any credit for this act of service.  You will need to take steps to ensure that you don’t receive any credit for this generous act of kindness.

If you are not able to get the job done yourself, gather a team of people to help you so that you can get the job done quickly.  You may want to ask your Youth Pastor if he can assemble a team of teenagers who understands and values the idea of serving selflessly, without being noticed. If youth are involved in the cleanup, make sure that they do it quickly and quietly.

If you don’t have a leaf blower, rent one, or rent a couple of them.  Just be sure use the leaf-blowers when the owner of the house is not home.

If you assemble a team, think of it as a “Swat Team”, that completes the job with surgical precision.  If the owner of the house does come home early, the team that you have assembled can “run” out of site and assemble at a pre-determined location.  When you finish the job, take the “Swat Team” out for Pizza and Ice Cream.

Wright a Hand-Written Letter of Encouragement

When was the last time that you received a handwritten letter? I bet it has been years if not decades. Today, when a letter is written, it is written on a computer and sent via email. If one were to actually write a letter and send it to somebody in the mail, they almost certainly would print it out from their computer. Nobody sends handwritten letters to people today.

Just after my wife and I had just gotten married, we were looking for a church that we could call our own. We did not want to be “church hoppers“, and decided that we were going to choose three churches to attend before making the commitment to attend that church for one full year. 

Of the three churches that we attended, one of them sent us a hand written letter thanking us for attending service that Sunday. It was written and signed by the Senior Pastor, himself.  Guess which church we decided to make our home church?

That one hand written letter was the determining factor in our commitment to serve in that Church Body for the next couple of years as we made our way through college. We invested a lot of time and energy into that church, and still have friends from that congregation some 25+ years later. All that happened because one Pastor decided to take three minutes of his day and send us a hand written letter in the mail with a stamp on it.

When you write a letter to somebody, make certain that you are not preaching at them, but rather encourage them. Every paragraph that you wrote should be written in such a way that they find encouragement and what they read. Don’t be fake about it. Be genuine. If you do this, it will certainly have a very long lasting impact on them. 

Expressing Kindness in the Simple Things

You can leave a lasting impact on somebody by doing the simplest of things. For example, smiling while opening the door and holding it open for somebody on your way into your local convenience store or Dunkin’ Donuts each morning on the way to work.

Looking for opportunities to assist someone is another small thing that you can do that will have a lasting impact. For example, picking something up off of the floor that somebody just dropped.

Allowing somebody to get ahead of you in line at the post office, or grocery store checkout, or even letting somebody cut in front of you when you have been waiting in traffic for a long time.  

Carrying out simple small acts of service will almost certainly have a greater effect on you than it will on the recipient of your kind deed. What is the purpose of this? If you make it a habit to look for opportunities to show small kind of acts of service to people, it will help you maintain an attitude of servanthood, and an attitude of servanthood paves the way for the Holy Spirit to minister through you exponentially.

Just like listening to worship music helps one maintain an attitude of worship throughout the day, so too, simple small acts of service help develop and maintain the attitude of a servant in your heart.

Pick up the Dog Poop . . . in Your Neighbors Yard 

Anyone who has a dog and a yard, has dog poop in their yard.  It may not be a lot, (or it might be), but I promise you, they have dog poop in their yard.

The last thing a dog owner wants to do, is pick up the dog poop in their yard.  This is where you come in.  You can really minister to someone by picking up the dog poop in their yard.

This particular active service can be embarrassing for the recipient. As such, it is very important that you do not let them know that you are doing this for them.  You definitely want to make sure that they are not home when you do this and that they will not return while you are doing this as it will be very embarrassing for them if they see you picking up the poop in their yard. If they saw you do this, they may even take offense.

You want to keep it a secret.  In other words, you do not want them to find out that you picked up the poop in their yard . . . ever. If they find out, you rob the Father of His glory. Additionally, you also don’t want their neighbors to find out that you picked up the poop in their yard because if they find out, it will get back to the dog owner. 

Remember, it’s not about you.  Don’t let the right hand know what the left hand is doing. For that matter, don’t let anybody know what you are doing.  The Father knows, and that’s all that matters.

Given that I have two medium size dogs, I can tell you from personal experience that they poop a whole lot more than you think they do. You would be wise to bring a 5 pound bucket with you, and of course, be sure to wear disposable gloves. This almost goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. Don’t leave the dog poop in their trash barrel. You need to bring it with you and dispose of it anywhere else, just not where are the dog owner will be able to find it.

If you were to leave it, they would find it, and may trace it back to you. The goal here to be be a blessing. An anonymous blessing so that the Father receives all the honor and glory.

Closing Thoughts 

Remember, it’s not about you, it’s all about partnering with the Holy Spirit and honoring the Father.  When you serve selflessly, you invite the Holy Spirit to serve alongside you.  When the Holy Spirit partners with you in service, the impact that He leaves on the one served, is both powerful and life-changing, for both you and the recipient.

Again, when serving, your objective is to partner with the Holy Spirit.  Your objective should always be to partner with the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit really wants to partner with you serving. It is when you choose to clothe yourself in humility, that His Presence will rush in and minister to the soul of the one being served.