Service Hours: The How and the Why

Why We Are Asked to Serve- and Why We Should Want To

Lauren Larson, Editor in Chief

Congratulations! You made it to the last leg of the year in (hopefully) one piece. The air is still freezing, the plants are finally coming back to life, and if you are particularly proactive—or an extreme procrastinator—you may be thinking about the service hours due May 1st.

In case you missed the email sent out by Mr. Kohlwey every semester, students are required to complete 20 service hours every year to graduate. More, if you are part of National Honors Society, which also requires 20 hours of service every year. It seems like a lot, especially when most students are also athletes, working a part-time job, or any variety of extracurriculars. 


We should remember why we are asked to complete service hours. Looking outside what is asked of us by Christ, there are so many practical benefits to volunteering. 

Volunteering can increase healthy self-confidence and can give a boost to your self-esteem (which I think we all could use once in a while). By volunteering in your community, you also form a stronger bond with the people around you, as well as find a strong self of self, and personal identity. Positive effects of community service also include improved physical health, help with depression, and the development of practical skills. Source

As Christians, we are asked to serve others. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act.”

Don’t just take it from me, though. Take it from Mr. Schlecht 

I sat down with him to talk about why we as Christians are asked to serve others and ask for some advice for students who are struggling to complete them. 

Mr. Schlecht: So ultimately, we love and we serve because Jesus first loved and served us. So the root of- the heart of- service hours is a response to what Jesus has done for us and the ultimate service is laying down your life, which is what Jesus did. So when we realize that, with that truth in our hearts, we can’t help but respond. And to love others, and to serve others. 

He goes on to explain that service does not come from a place of requirement, but from a place of love and gratitude. We should be motivated to give love to others because of the love Jesus gave to us.

Mr. Schlecht: (Jesus’s) whole life was in ministry to other people. I think in terms of being more Christ-like, we are the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent his spirit for us, and we get to be Jesus for the world…Who doesn’t want to be loved? Who doesn’t want to be served? Everyone has that desire, we all have that in us because that’s how God made us. 

Serving others is a way to share God’s love with others. Jesus served us first, and now, we can be moved by his life and his sacrifice to follow in his footsteps. After all, who wouldn’t want to be like Jesus? 

But getting volunteer hours can be difficult. A lot of people have sports, family, and homework, so where can you find the time? I asked Mr. Schlecht (so you don’t have to) and he gave some really interesting insight. 

Mr. Schlecht: High school is a super busy time especially if you are involved in a lot. My biggest advice is little chunks at a time. 20 hours can seem super overwhelming, but if you break them up between ten months, it’s two hours a month. Don’t think of it as “I need ten hours here and ten hours here”. Do an hour here and or two hours here. 

There was one last piece of advice Mr. Schlecht imparted to us.

Mr. Schlecht: I always encourage students to serve with friends. It can be fun, and I know different teams will serve together. With girl’s basketball, we do Operation Christmas Child and I’m like “It’s another thing to do” but once you’re there and you’re serving with each other, it’s fun. My biggest encouragement is to find other people because they have the same requirement and that can be really enjoyable. 

Service hours can be a group project, and serving with friends is always going to be more enjoyable than serving alone. Service hours don’t have to be a chore, but an opportunity to do good in your community and spend time with your friends.  

Don’t forget we are called to serve others by God and that by serving others, we are sharing the love Jesus has for us with people who may need it more than ever. And when you look at it like that, why wouldn’t you want to get those service hours in? 

If you are looking for opportunities, check the service page on canvas or scan any of the QR codes around the school. Don’t be afraid to ask your theology teacher or your friends. If you have a church, then you can start there and connect with your friends outside of school. There is never a lack of serving opportunities, as long as you take the time to look. 

I can get a service hour for this, right? Right?