Jesus lived a life of love and service, and sent his disciples out to do the same, encouraging them to ‘live love’.
LCA International Mission is passionate about encouraging Service Learning in Australian Lutheran schools because it enables young people to engage in God’s mission in the world in a safe and supportive environment. Service Learning experiences are coordinated in collaboration with Lutheran Education Australia (LEA), LCA International Mission and a local or overseas community. Active participation is required from the students as they work with communities, learn and reflect as they serve, and create enduring relationships.
The LEA service-learning tagline — ‘giving hands, heart, head and feet to our values’ — indicates that Lutheran schools aim to be places where God’s love is not merely talked about but is also lived out through acts of service. LEA plans to embed service-learning into the curricula of its schools.
LEA wants students to understand that the Christian faith is not confined to the four walls of Christian Education classes. They want them to see that the saving love of God through the cross of Christ pervades all of life, and that service is a lifelong expression of a life that’s been redeemed and transformed through Christ. Lutheran schools recognise the importance of engaging the ‘heart, head, hands and feet’ of their young people through their life experience in the formative school years. Service is central to who and what they are — a pivotal values focus in Lutheran schools.
Service-learning is not merely community service, volunteering programs or fundraising. Nor it is charity, which can be perceived as deeds done in order to feel good about oneself or to earn merit or reward. Rather, service-learning encourages students to see that serving others is how Christians respond to what God has done for them in Christ. It aims to provide opportunities where young people can volunteer their time to assist others in a pursuit that will benefit their personal growth and lifelong experiences immensely, developing students who see serving others as a way of life .
LEA’s service-learning model draws on the LCA’s existing ministries — LCA International Mission, Australian Lutheran World Service and Lutheran Community Care — to provide service-learning opportunities for students in Lutheran schools.
LCA International Mission works in partnership with Lutheran Education Australia and our overseas partner churches to provide opportunities for Lutheran schools, teachers and students from Australia to develop long-term, sustainable relationships and transformative service partnerships providing unique learning opportunities, which are mutually beneficial to the Lutheran school and the school or ministry organisation of the overseas Lutheran church.
International school partnerships open student’s eyes to how God’s love weaves through lives and cultures. While we celebrate diversity, we grow in understanding and the incredible joy of being one family in Christ, which cultivates in mutual respect for one another.
If your school would like to know more about how they can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission service-learning and ministry partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.