As a youth minister, it’s always challenging to pass on the idea of service to teenagers. Many teenagers want to serve, but don’t know what to do. Others have the idea that service means shoveling your grandmother’s walk, or helping mom bring in the groceries. And those activities “serve” someone, but it’s not the only kind of service we are called to.

Jesus challenged us to serve others as well as He has served us (John 13:14-15). Meaning that we should care for the people he took care of: the sick, the helpless, the alone, the afraid or, in other words, the “outcasts” of society.

Gallagher Services provides a rare opportunity for our teenagers. It allows them to work one-on-one with individuals with various disabilities. Too often, these individuals are marginalized by society because of their condition.

Visits to Gallagher Services challenge our teenagers to confront their fears and to learn a valuable lesson—a person is a person regardless of sex, skin color, ethnic background or disability. Our teenagers leave Gallagher Services with a changed perspective. Even though they only spend an hour or so working with different individuals, in the end, they get “it.” They start to realize that human life is sacred and that service is about reaching out of your comfort zones. It’s about being Christ to another person.

Ken DeMoll

Youth Minister, St. John Westminster, Serving Gallagher Services