A guest post by Aaron Kirkpatrick at RethinkingYouthMinistry.com offers this compelling thought against involving youth in “service projects”:
A project is an assignment.A project is something that must get done, regardless of whether you actually want to do it. Cleaning the bathroom is a project. That fifteen page paper your seniors have been putting off doing is a project. My honey-do list is full of projects.But we’re calling our students to serve people, and people are not projects.When we refer to these times of service as “service projects” we immediately cheapen what our teens are doing, we limit the ministry our teens will do, and we hinder our students’ ability to be transformed through the experience of serving. At best, our words frame their service in terms of what they do instead of who they touch, and at worst they cause our teens to view people in an impersonal way that removes the love and compassion that is at the heart of Christian ministry.
What do you think?
Is there a line we should be aware of in making sure students are more than task-focused in serving?
Or… does any good deed have value?