In "Ministering is Motivated by Christlike Love" we ponder the difference between Christlike love and love. Ideally all love would be Christlike but in this imperfect world it is not. Basic love can have conditions, has to be earned, the desire to do good may be there but you miss the true service that is needed, and sometimes it is lost. Christlike love is never ending, has no checklist of what you must do to earn it, and sees beyond the top layer. If we don't minister with Christlike love, we really aren't ministering at all. We lose the opportunity to see each other as children of God, really lift each other up, and come closer to God.
The Church suggests the following for teaching this lesson, "To explore the power of ministering motivated by Christlike love, you could write the following sentences on the board and invite members to suggest ways to fill in the blanks: When I truly love the people I serve, I . When I serve for other reasons, I . What can we do to ensure that our ministering to others is motivated by Christlike love? How do we develop Christlike love for those to whom we are assigned to minister? (see Moroni 7:45–48). Perhaps members could share examples of ministering that was inspired by Christlike love."
"Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear" by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Love- the Essence of the Gospel" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Loving Others and Living with Differences" by President Dallin H. Oaks
"Charity: Perfect and Everlasting Love" by Elder Gene R. Cook
"Choosing Charity: That Good Part" by Sister Bonnie D. Parkin
"Charity Never Faileth" by President Thomas S. Monson
"He Asks Us to Be His Hands" by Sister Cheryl A. Esplin
"I Was a Stranger" by Sister Linda K. Burton
"What Greater Goodness Can We Know: Christlike Friends" by Sister Kathleen H. Hughes
"Ministering that Matters" (Ensign article)
Deseret Bookshelf PLUS Recommendations
Judging Others? Stop It! (about 3 1/2 minutes)- clip from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The Prodigal Son (about 5 1/2 minutes)- Bible video
Loving and Living with Differences (about 1 minute)- clip from President Dallin H. Oaks
Questions to Ponder
- What's the difference between ministering and ministering with Christlike love?
- "What can we do to ensure that our ministering to others is motivated by Christlike love?"
- Why do we sometimes attempt to minister with out love? What is the harm in that? What good can still come from that?
- What does love motivate us to do?
- What happens when our ministering isn't motivated by Christlike love? What other motivations might we have?
- How can we develop greater love for those we minister?
- Why is it hard to love at times and how can we choose to love anyway?
- What can you do to show you truly love those you minister to?
- How can you break down barriers so you can get to know those you minister to?
- What can you do when you don't click right way with those you minister to?
- How can you resolve any differences you may have with those you minister to?
- What does it look like to minister with love to those that are "missing"?
- What keeps us from truly loving another and showing it?
- How have you been blessed by someone that has shown you Christlike love?
- What are some ways you can more actively show your love?
- How have you felt the Savior's love in your life?
- What opportunities do we have in class to show more Christlike love?
- How does Christlike love for others bless our own lives?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Discuss the scripture in Leviticus 19:18. What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? Why would pondering this scripture be helpful when it comes to ministering to each other?
- Get your class thinking before you start your discussion. Hand out slips of paper that say, "I have felt the most love from someone when...." How does understanding what helps you feel loved help you show Christlike love to others? What can we do so we show others love in a way they feel it most?
- Discuss the hymn, "Love One Another" (Hymn #308). What do the different phrases mean? How do we live this hymn? Consider singing it to end your discussion.
- Ponder the difference between love and Christlike love. What changes? Why do we need to obtain Christlike love instead? You can make a chart on the board to show the differences. This poster from Comfy in the Kitchen that talks about what ministering looks like is also a great example of showing Christlike love because we are thinking more of others instead of all about ourselves.
- Discuss several scriptures that teach us more about Christlike love. Ask what people notice in these scriptures, why that matters, how we can further develop that kind of love, and how we can apply it into our ministering. You can use the scripture bookmark I shared or use the Topical Guide to find more.
- Discuss what keeps us from loving others more purely. For example, when we get caught up in the comparison cycle it's hard to feel love for those people or when we have completely different ways of doing things and allow that to drive a wedge between us instead of a bond. How can we overcome those things? What can help us step back and honestly examine our love for others?
- There are multiple free handouts available based on this theme at LDS Nest plus even more from All Things Bright & Beautiful
- Looking for even more? There is a great lesson packet and ideas available from The Red Headed Hostess.