Reaching Out: Our Call To Minister: Session 1: Called to Care

By   the end of this session the students should be able to:

     
  • define   ministry as caring, helping, or showing loving concern to a person as Christ   would
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  • explain   that when we are ministering to people in need we are ministering to Christ.
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  • list   the groups in Matthew 25: 41-46 to whom Jesus instructs us to minister [hungry/thirsty,   strangers, naked, sick, and imprisoned].
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  • identify   people in their own lives who need the assistance or ministry of others
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  • discuss   the importance of prayer when servicing others.


  Useful scriptural texts

     
  • Matthew   25: 31-46

Materials

     
  • Fr   Sergei Glagolev’s article ‘To Serve’ [Resource Handbook Volume 1,   Theology of Lay Ministries]
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  • poster   board
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  • butcher   block paper or other large paper that can be used for posters
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  • markers
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  • Bibles
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  • phone   books
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  • pens/pencils
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  • paper/pads
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  • copies   of ‘I Was Hungry’ poem [See Resource 1]

Notes   to the leader:

Along   with the scriptural texts listed above, take the time to read through Fr Sergei   Glagolev’s article ‘To Serve.’ It provides a solid foundation for this session   in easy-to-understand language.

Procedure:

10   minutes. Ask   students to give the first word that comes to mind when you say the word ‘needy.’   List their responses on a clearly visible surface [poster board, white board,   chalk board, butcher paper, etc]. Discuss why the think they had this kind of   reaction. Now ask students to give the first words that come to mind when you   say ‘to love’ and ‘to minister.’ [Draw their attention to the fact that when   love is used as a verb it requires a certain amount of action.] Discuss the   difference between needing and wanting something.

15   minutes. Start   off by saying ‘Jesus Christ gives us a very important set of commands in the   Gospel of Saint Matthew having to do with serving others’ [Matthew 25:31-40].   Read or have someone read these verses. Ask the students what they think the   commands are. Direct students to the following: the commands aren’t negative   [do’s instead of don’ts]. Christ promises the Kingdom of God to those who follow   them. THey are definitely commands, not suggestions.

Hand   out the ‘I Was Hungry’ poem. Read the poem aloud and discuss the following questions:

     
  • In   the poem, what did the person need? What actions were taken to ‘help’ the   person?
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  • How   did the person respond? Why do you think they responded that way?
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  • What,   if anything, was wrong with the actions that were taken?
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  • What   other things could have been done that might have been more appropriate?
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  • What   do you think is the relationship between praying for someone and doing something   for someone?

Have   someone read Matthew 25:41-46. What does Christ say will happen to those who   do not follow these commands? [The will go to the place of eternal fire, prepared   for the devil and his angels.] Why do you think He says that? [Since He Loves   us and does everything for us, we are supposed to love and help each other.]   What’s wrong with not following these commands? [If you are not helping people   you are not loving them and are not loving God.’] Look again at Matthew 25:35-36.   ‘Who are the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned,   the needy in our area?’ Get as many responses as possible and record them on   a poster board or butcher paper. [Review Resource 2 for ideas.]

10-15   minutes. Tell   everyone to sit by themselves and write down one time in their life they felt   someone had ministered to them when they were in need, or one time they ministered   to someone who was in need. What did it feel like? Were you/they grateful? Angry?   What did you/they do in return? As for volunteers to share their experiences.

20   minutes. Split   into groups and hand-out are phone books to each group [white pages to some   groups and yellow pages to others]. Have students refer to the ‘Customer Guide’   under the section ‘Community Services’ in the white pages and the section ‘Social   and Human Services’ in the yellow pages. Instruct them to list all the people   in need and the services that are available in their area. Regroup and find   out who had the longest list. [Who has more than ten, twenty, twenty-five? etc].   Have them read their list while others mark the ones that corresponded to their   own list. After the list is read, ask for any other ideas that the first group   missed. Record all responses on a large poster board and display on a wall for   references during future sessions.

Discuss:

Who   are some people you personally know that need to be ministered to? In what way   do they need to be ministered to?

Conclusion

In   order to show God we love Him, we have to love the other people He created.   That means we have to minister to people who need help, including ourselves.   TO minister to someone means to take care of, help, or show loving concern to   a person as Christ would. It also means to see Christ in the pole we help. THought   not all of us are ordained, we are all called to minister to one another.

Ongoing   assignment:

Create   a directory of local community services that help the need in students’ home,   school, and church communities. Include the name of the service agency, its   address’s, phone umber, and people to whom it ministers. Check newspapers, neighborhood   bulletin boards, phone books, etc, to find out what types of things people are   doing in their communities to help the needy. At the beginning of each subsequent   session report new findings and update the group’s list. At the end of the unit,   format the list into a booklet. Give one copy to the parish priest and put one   copy in the parish library.