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May I Serve You?
Matthew 25: 35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Event: 'Dress Up' Dinner Party
Purpose: remind that service to others is a core element to being a true follower of Christ
Note: A nice event to follow up with would be a girls-only (teens and moms) communion service

Invitations
Create and send out formal invitations. Many office supply stores carry invitation kits.

This will be a semi-formal meal consisting of three courses plus appetizers and a beverage. But don't let the idea of serving in courses scare you! The meal can consist of easily prepared foods (such as store-bought appetizer, juice, salad, pasta, and cake). Even simple food can be cooked and presented in an elegant manner. This is not the time to serve on paper plates with plastic forks and cups. Use 'real' dishes, silverware, and cups (goblets are nice)-borrow from several people if you don't have enough in stock. Try to find someone with cloth napkins and tablecloths.

Set a beautiful table. Napkins arranged on the plate or tucked into water goblets. An attractive bouquet of flowers (or a 'favor' at each seat of a single blossom in tiny glass bottle & tied with a matching ribbon) is always a welcome touch. Votive candles scattered on the table are also nice.

For each item or course of the meal there will be an activity or discussion. Keep these short and quiet.

Because this event it to teach about service, you will need several adults willing to serve the girls. Ideally, a few fathers can be convinced to dress in tuxedos and serve, however, any adult will work just fine! The focus is on 5-star treatment.

Okay, let's move on to the meal

After asking the girls to be seated (lights should be low, candles lit before they arrive), open with a few welcoming remarks and prayer. Then begin the program.

Food Item #1 -  Appetizer - Wet the appetite
(Serve food item after activity is completed)
Go around the room, having each girl say her name, and tell one need that she thinks people have. (ie: "My name is Sarah, and I think many people are hungry in the world). Have an adult write down each need spoken (this will be used at the end of the program).

Read Matthew 25: 35-40

Signal for the appetizer to be served, then let the girls enjoy their tidbits and chat.

While appetizer plates are being removed, have someone serve the beverage

Food Item #2 - Beverage - Quench the Soul

Devotional Thought will be read while girls sip their beverage

Devotional Thought - Live Like Jesus!
Many people think that being a Christian means going to church once a week,  having worship every day, mumbling a prayer before bed, and paying tithe. However, if you read about the life of Jesus you will discover a whole new way of living! Jesus spent a good portion of his time walking from town to town. He wasn't carrying a set of scrolls and expounding on spiritual laws and regulations set forth by the Jewish spiritual leaders. He didn't engage in arguments with Samaritans over religious beliefs, and he didn't judge a tithe by its size!

Every day Jesus could be found serving others. Whether he was healing the sick, encouraging the discouraged, feeding the hungry, holding the children, or casting out demons, Jesus lived to serve.

One story that you are probably familiar with is about Jesus sitting at a wedding feast. His mom comes over and asks him to perform a miracle, because of all things, the groom has run out of beverage to give to his guests. What a request! Perhaps you or I might be tempted to say 'hey, it isn't my problem that you didn't plan right. Let them drink water from the well'! But Jesus. He meekly, kindly, quietly provided the best beverage people had ever tasted !

How about you? If you are a follower of Jesus, do you serve as unselfishly, as willingly as He did? Or are you tempted to complain, or worse, ignore the needs of those around you? Are you giving your best, or holding back?

Let's re-read our verse and think about what Jesus is saying.

Matthew 25: 35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

As you are served your meal this evening, I would like you to think about how you can serve others more each day.

Food Item #3 - Salad - Getting Started

Have a pretty square piece of paper at each girl's place along with a pen.
Ask the girls to write two things they would like to do to serve others
Serve the salad
and let girls chat while they eat.

Food Item #4 - Main Course - The 'meat' of your spiritual walk

As salad plates are being removed and the main course is being served, have girls read what they wrote. Discuss ways that service can be incorporated into their lives. Select one or two items that the group would be willing to work on (such as helping others) and brainstorm project ideas . You don't have to plan the event, just get input and ideas to work on at a later date. 

Let the girls enjoy their meal and chat.

Food Item #5 - Dessert - The sweet rewards of service
As dishes are being cleared and juice cups refilled, give girls the opportunity to tell about a time they served someone and how it made them feel. You may also want to have a few adults share ideas and thoughts as well. 

While dessert is being enjoyed, focus on the value and rewards of service. Selfishness, depression, loneliness, despondency all seem to diminish when we are focused on helping others. As we serve (with an eye always on Jesus) we become more and more like Jesus.

As dessert dishes are cleared, chat with the girls about how it felt to be served during the meal. Apply those feelings to the people around them. This would be an excellent time to discuss needs in their community that they might not be aware of (homeless, women's shelters, people with disabilities, elderly loneliness, etc).

Find out if the girls are interested in doing some service projects, and if the feedback is positive, let them know you will get back in touch with them for ideas and suggestions at a later date.

Have puzzle pieces available for each girl. Copy and enlarge the pattern below (card stock would be best), then make sure you have enough pieces that fit together so that each girl will be able to fit her piece into another girls piece. If there aren't enough girls, have an adult join in as well.

Give each girl a puzzle piece. Have them think of a way that they are most comfortable serving - you may want to give them some word ideas (comforting, feeding, loving, giving, praying). Each girl should write their name and their serving word on their puzzle piece. Then, they should find another girl whose piece fits with theirs. Once each girl is paired up, have them spend a few minutes praying together.

If you need to - remind the girls to thank their servers before leaving.