How many Bucket List items have more than one way you can complete them?

In my continuing series of things to do before you die, this one does. I give it a simple name: Serve others.

It seems obvious, but the truth is that the point of most Bucket Lists is self–experiencing things that will make you feel “more alive” or more adventurous or more important or more…anything. But when it comes down to it, nothing makes you feel better about yourself than putting others first.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be the most important person must take the last place and be a servant to everyone else” (Mark 9:35,GW). As politicians strive to move up in the polls and athletes compete for most valuable player, this truth seems to be forgotten. Yet Christ served as the example that putting others first is the way to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives.[Tweet “Nothing makes you feel better than putting others first.”]

So here are five ways you can serve others. You can think of many more. Some take only a few minutes, some take a few hours, and some can take a week or more.

1. Write a letter–not an email–to a relative, friend, or neighbor, letting them know you are thinking of them. Something about a tangible postmarked letter says, “I care” more than a digital message.

2. Take a turn in the nursery at your church. (Some churches now require a background check first.) You’ll get in touch with your inner child again and give someone else a break.

3. Volunteer at a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or nursing home. You’ll come away with a greater appreciation for your own circumstances.

4. Mow the lawn (or shovel the sidewalk in winter) for an elderly or ill neighbor. Or take them a meal or baked goodies.

5. Go on a short-term mission trip, either in the U.S. or overseas. These can vary from helping repair homes for low-income families to building churches to putting on Vacation Bible School for children who have never heard that Jesus love them. Trust me, you’ll bless the people you help but they will bless you even more.[Tweet “What are some ways you can serve others?”]

If you’ve already taken care of the first three items on my “Absolute Best Bucket List” (read about them here), then this item, Serving others, will not be a one-time activity to  “check off,” but will become a way of life.

What are some ways you can suggest for serving others? What benefits have you gained from being a servant?