Leadership in Quarantine: Three Areas Teens Can Make a Difference at Home
Maybe you find yourself stuck at home with a ton of time and little to do, but did you know that you can make a difference right where you are? Time is an amazing gift for any leader, and right now, many of us are sitting on a gold mine! You see, being a leader starts with being a servant, and there are so many ways that we can serve those around us during this “stay at home” order.
First, consider how you can serve your family. One of the most life-changing messages I remember hearing in my teen years was a message my youth pastor preached. He challenged us to live out the heart of the Gospel to our family at home. He taught from Romans 12:10, which says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Living the Word before our families can be challenging, but right now is a great time to do that. Look for ways to help with household chores without being asked. Find a way to lighten your mom’s load. Take time to invest in the lives of your siblings. Read with them. Play with them. Teach them new things and show them the love of Jesus.
Second, look to your neighborhood and those nearby. Do you have elderly neighbors who could use a hand with groceries? Is there spring clean-up, like raking leaves, that could be done in their yards? Would they appreciate a thoughtful card or note that lets them know that you are thinking of them and praying that they stay healthy? Maybe you have been enjoying the spring weather and have been out walking or running. Next time you step out, consider taking a trash bag and gloves and cleaning up any liter along your path or at a nearby park.
Third, consider the needs of your community. One of the groups that has been hardest hit by the shelter-in-place order are those who have no place at all. Many homeless shelters have had to close, and those that are open have had to take in many new guests, serve additional meals, and take extra precautions, often with even less resources and volunteers than normal. Check with trusted local ministries in your area to see what their needs are and if there is a way you can help meet them. For example, the City Rescue Mission of Lansing publishes their needs on a website: http://www.bearescuer.org/CRMNeeds.html. Maybe you can help meet those needs, or maybe you can help raise awareness on social media so that you and your friends can help meet those needs together. One friend of mine shared a “wish list” of things a shelter needed on Amazon and had it set up so that others could simply purchase and have it shipped right to the shelter. Perhaps you can help spread the word about other services and resources in your community to help those who are struggling. Maybe you can volunteer remotely for a non-profit (SSI could use remote volunteers right now. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested). Or perhaps you can share what you have. Something we all have that is critically needed during this crisis is blood. If you are healthy and able to give, check out the American Red Cross for details on how you can donate blood: https://www.redcrossblood.org/. There are just a few ideas, but check with your church and community groups to see how you can serve. Also, should you choose to serve outside your home, be sure to do so safely and remain mindful of your own health and the health of those around you.
Most importantly, be prayerful in your desire to serve and ask the Lord to help you to see the needs around you and how He is calling you to minister. Pray and ask Him to help you make this a lifestyle. Ask Him to show you how you can be His hands and feet and see His purpose for the time He has given you.
To be a leader, one must first be a servant, and service starts at home.
Katie Schmidt is the Director of Communications at SSI. She is fascinated by how biblical presuppositions inform history, philosophy, and critical advocacy and enjoys engaging with her community and church, learning news things, and dabbling in creative pursuits.
Disclaimer: The views presented in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the position of the Student Statesmanship Institute. SSI is a non-profit educational organization and provides this blog as a platform for those who have been involved in our program to engage and share thoughts related to current events, issues of the day, and personal experiences, but does not necessarily endorse the content therein.