It doesn’t take a lot to get discouraged today. A peek at headlines on any given morning remind us how broken and hurting the world is. And a survey of the people we know and love frequently reveals hard things like sickness, financial pressure, and families that are falling apart.

These circumstances are not new under the sun, but they still weigh on our hearts. Friend, let’s lighten the weight together.

Here’s something we can do: We can we offer people around us–in our communities and touching our ministries–hope. And we can share that hope through care and service.

No doubt your ministry already invites women to serve each other through lots of different ways. Praying together is a form of service. Watching each others kids and bringing meals is service. Offering a listening ear is service.

Let’s keep it up. And then let’s do more.

One natural way to offer hope to others through service is at your retreat

One of the most natural ways to increase care is to incorporate service into your next retreat. Though service is often overlooked at a retreat, here’s why adding a service-component to your retreat is hope-giving:

  1. Service connects people. This is true both for recipients of the service as well as the givers. Gifts of love open up conversations and break down barriers, which is one of the primary things you want for the women attending your retreat. These kinds of connections last throughout the whole year, deepening the impact of your ministry.
  2. Service changes hearts. Got cliques or tension in your ministry? Perhaps personal dynamics are creating barriers for growth. Service is one of the most effective ways to diffuse these types of obstacles because service transforms the heart. Combined with worship, prayer, and bonding, service at your retreat creates the perfect atmosphere to transform your group.

>> Related: the surprising secret to a life-changing retreat

It’s easy to incorporate a service component into your retreat with a Group retreat kits. This is because each kit already includes a built-in service project that naturally connects to the theme, meaning that the service projects flow within the Bible readings, worship songs, and teachings.

Use these service-projects as a starting point for creatively blessing your community.

If you’re looking for simple service projects that you can do with women’s ministry, make sure to check out the This Means Love Service Kit Project. This easy-to-use kit brings together the pieces needed to plan and execute simple service projects with a small group of women that will have big impact in your community.

How will God lead you to share hope through one? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.