As the Thanksgiving and Christmas season is upon us, we have an incredible opportunity to model how to serve others. The kids and families in your ministry need you to provide ways to accomplish this. Ideally, we want them to serve together throughout the year, but we know that the holidays evoke a spirit of giving while also offering the gift of more time together. The reality is, families need to see YOU model serving. Here are three practical ways to do just that:
- Provide opportunities to serve your church family: Are there people in your church who would benefit from extra love and care during this time of the year? Some ideas might be matching a family with a widow or widower in your church—or someone who is unable to leave home and would love a special visit. Or, schedule time for families to all go caroling together, visiting church members in the hospital or nursing home.
- Provide opportunities to serve your community: The low-hanging fruit here is to have a toy drive or a canned good food drive for less fortunate people in your community. While these are good things, families are not really serving together. Instead, consider actually taking gifts and food to families in need around your city. There are multiple agencies that can offer safe and helpful ways to accomplish this. It may take more work and planning, but it is worth it!
- Provide opportunities to serve missionaries: Perhaps there are people in your church serving away from home or maybe they are home for a short furlough during the holidays. Either way, engage your families to care for those who are reaching the unreached abroad. We want our children to be the next senders and goers to those who do not know Jesus. Let’s use this season of giving to serve those who are already doing it.
For the most part, the kids and families in your ministry are blessed with everything they need. They need opportunities to leave their comfort zone and realize they can have an impact on those who don’t have basic needs or who simply need an extra dosage of gospel love. Model this for your families and watch how the Lord will use these opportunities to deepen gratitude and ultimately increase our faith in Him!
For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. Galatians 5:3
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Lifeway Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.