As Christian women, we know that we need to be serving others and fulfilling the Great Commission. But how do you do that when you also have children?
#1 – Neighborhood Food Drive
You know what children are really good for? Their energy. Put it to good use by letting them lead the way around your neighborhood (or, for the rural folks, a neighborhood that you select.) To have a successful food drive, you need to:
- Know where the donations will go
- Design and print out fliers that include the time that you’ll come back through the neighborhood.
- Walk through your neighborhood once, going door-to-door. You can offer to collect any unwanted canned goods then, or you can leave them a bag and a flier.
- Go through on the designated date and collect the bags.
#2 – Construction Ministry
I know what you’re thinking. Kids and construction just don’t seem like they would go together. However, there are plenty of jobs for small hands to do when it comes to a volunteer construction site:
- Fetching items – having somebody who can run back and forth saves a lot of time for the adults who are doing the bulk of the work.
- Spackling – no power tools or hammers involved! You literally fill in the holes wherever you spot them. It’s a necessary part of prepping walls for paint but can take so much time.
- Laying sod – If you have kids that like to get messy, this is the perfect job for them. Once an adult places the heavy roll, kids can work together to unroll the grass. Then there’s tapping it down and watering!
- Paint – Kids can put edge tape in place. If your child has steady hands, then painting baseboards can stop an adult from folding all the way to the floor. Older children can paint walls (with supervision to make sure they’re covering it well). There’s also laying drop cloths and clean-up that children can help with.
- Basic construction – You might be surprised to find out what your preteen children are capable of helping with after some time spent in construction zones. If you trust them with the tools, the ways your child can help are unlimited.
- Cleaning Up – It’s not glamorous, but it’s a big help if somebody cleans up some of the sawdust or reorganizes the wood piles.
It’s probably harder for you to find a volunteer construction site than it is for your children to find a job on the site!
#3 – Backyard Bible Clubs
Let your children become missionaries by hosting a Backyard Bible Club. Backyard Bible Clubs are very simple to throw together because a lot of planning normally becomes pointless anyways. While they traditionally have a devotional, music, crafts, snacks, and games, you can throw out any element that becomes impractical or too costly.
Ways your children can help plan these:
- Have them choose a Bible story and/or explain what children can learn from it.
- Pick crafts and games.
- Invite other children.
- Put the snack tray together.
- Model paying attention.
- Open and close the club in prayer.
- Make banners/fliers (because children who get excited about a club love doing stuff like this)
#4 – Hand Out Water
If you live near a beach or if there’s a special event going on, then you can simple buy a case of water to hand it out. You can offer to pray with people, give them tracts, or simply say, “I wanted to show you God’s love today. Please take this water.”
I’m sure that even people at the rec department games would appreciate some free water. Just make sure that outside food and water is permitted before you do this. Violated rules is not the way to serve somebody in God’s name.
#5 – Cards
There are many people who would love some cards given from children. You can ask your Pastor for a list of individuals, or you could check with your local nursing homes. How hard is it to spend one afternoon each month making a few cards to give people? As a bonus, hand-delivering the cards is sure to bring a smile to the recipient’s face.
#6 – Clean-up
We’ve been commanded to take care of this planet, so participating in any clean-up day is part of serving. This goes for church, parks, roadsides, and so forth. Just ask for people to give you alerts so you know about the scheduled clean-up days.
#7 – Babysitting
Life can be rough. One of the simplest things you can do to serve others alongside your children is to open your home up so other parents have some back-up.
Teaching the Attitude of Service
Teaching your children to serve is one of those things that is caught rather than taught. Chances are you children will complain about the first few times you get them involved in a project. But the good news is that there are some things that you can do to ease this transition:
- Explain that you’re serving out of love for others
- Talk about how happy you are to help others
- Praise them for what your children did well
- Set a fun tone for the service project by showing that you’re having fun.
While any project might feel daunting at the start, there are so many benefits to serving alongside children. I hope that this list sparked some ideas for you, and I am praying that your entire family will feel empowered to serve others.
About the Author:
Lauren C. Moye is a wife, mother, and writer, but in a former life she was a Pastor’s Kid. When she’s not chasing a toddler or tripping over a cat, she’s usually writing. The majority of her work appears on www.chaoticlifeoflauren.com, where she helps busy Christian mothers manage life.
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