I’d still take comfort, relieved even though in persistent pain; for I’ve not denied the words of the holy one.
Serve: persons who have chronic physical pain, a physical disability, or recovering from surgery
Connect: every child has experienced a bump or bruise and the resulting pain; try to help them understand that some people experience that kind of pain all day, every day; in the same way children have experienced care and comfort from aches and pains, they have the opportunity to make something that will bring comfort to others time and again
crew style white cotton sock
rice, not instant
dried lavender (optional)
poem with directions printed onto card stock:
This little sock filled with rice,
is such a comforting device.
Microwave for 1-2 minutes on high
and kiss those aches and pains goodbye.
Apply it to the troubled spot,
the heat will ease the pain a lot.
Or warm those little toes so cold,
you’ll find this nice to have and hold.
Or freeze it for a little while,
and fix that boo-boo up in style.
Instead of a compress made of ice,
use this pillow filled with rice.
allow kids to decorate the outside of a sock with sharpie markers
fill the sock with rice leaving about 2-inches at the top
add a few pinches of dried lavender (optional)
secure the sock closed with a rubber band
cover the rubber band with a decorative ribbon
attach the card with directions to the ribbon
When we introduced this mission project at North United Methodist Church, we invited Jeremy Warriner, a church member and double amputee, to share his story of living with a physical disability and pain. In a uniquely wonderful way, Jeremy talked with the children and encouraged them in their mission project to share care and comfort with others. For the kids, and all of us adults too, Jeremy put a face to the mission so that suddenly it wasn’t serving “somebody” but rather serving our friends, like Jeremy who many of the kids lovingly know as “the man with robot legs.”
You must wash your clothes on the seventh day and you will be clean. Numbers 31:24
Serve: homeless and transient populations who may not have access or means to use washing machines but cold wash clothes by hand in a sink* (a large batch of soap is also a great gift to a local shelter)
Connect: children probably know better than most that dirt and messes happen, but they may not yet appreciate that washing clothes takes some work; challenge children to consider what it would be like to wear the same clothes for days and weeks without washing
an adult can use a large butcher knife and cutting board to divide a bar of zoat into three equal pieces
show kids how to use a cheese grater to shave soap
combine into a quart size bag:
1/3 bar of zoat, shaved
1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda
seal the bag well and shake to mix
add a label with washing instructions
put in a plastic spoon to measure soap for washing (optional)
*This laundry soap works great in cold water and rinses well to leave clothes clean without the need for a washing machine, which makes it perfect for those who do not have the means to use laundry appliances or who choose to wash in cold water to save money.
So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Serve: children waiting in a hospital emergency room
Connect: every child can relate to a time when he/she felt bored and also feelings of uncertainty, help children connect that these feelings are often magnified when a child is waiting in a hospital emergency room for treatment or for a loved one to receive care
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24
Serve: children at local shelters*
Connect: many children (and adults!) take for granted sleeping on a bed with linens and pillows, but sadly many people go without these things right at home in our local communities; help children connect by sharing about their favorite blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal and how they may feel if they didn’t have any of those things to rest with
cut a 17×17-inch square (makes a 14×14-inch pillow)
with both pieces together, cut a 3×3-inch square out of each corner
cut fringe around all sides of both pieces by cutting 3-inches into fleece at 1-inch intervals
keep both sides of pillows by securing with a clothespin
for younger children, place 2 clothespins on each side to help keep the ties lined up
give each child or pair of children a pillow form
show them how to double knot the ties all around the pillow, leaving a small space open for stuffing
stuff the pillow, be sure to get fiberfill in the corners
TIP: gently pull the fiberfill apart to make the pillow less lumpy
add enough stuffing to make the pillow comfortable to rest on
finish the ties
*Sweet Dreams is a grassroots movement started in Indianapolis, Indiana to provide children who are sleeping on the floor with a new mattress through a partnership with local schools. Since it’s conception in November 2014, over 125 mattresses have been placed in homes. Sweet Dreams has two corporate sponsorships with Mattress Firm and Sealy. Children at North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis started making pillows to give with each mattress and the effort has expanded to include three other United Methodist churches in Indiana. If your church would like to donate pillows to this project, you can ship them to the address below. Together we can ensure that every child has sweet dreams!
c/o North United Methodist Church
3808 N Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208
He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37, The Message
Serve: new parents and babies
Connect: it’s a dirty job to change diapers but it is one way parents care for babies who aren’t able to use the toilet; help children see that even the dirtiest job (no one likes poop!) can be an act of love
size 1 diapers
sharpie markers (NO washable markers)
give each child several diapers and sharpie markers
encourage children to think about happy or funny images to draw on the diapers
allow children to write include “clean” with the punchline on the back
Go Further: have children host a diaper and wipes drive to supply a local food pantry or shelter with these needed supplies
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. John 3:16
Serve: members of the congregation who may be homebound or have lost a spouse since last Valentine’s Day
Connect: age children will easily connect with the giving of Valentines and how they feel when they receive a hug from a loving caregiver; challenge kids to think about people who may feel lonely or sad receiving a “mailable hug” to wrap around them and know someone loves them
Poem printed onto 1/2 sheet of card stock (printable):
I made this great big hug just for you,
To share God’s love, it’s true.
Wrap it around you, all snug and tight,
Hold it with all your might!
For Valentine’s Day and all the year,
God loves you – that’s reason to cheer!
jumbo ink pads
white heavy paper
hand washing supplies
mailing labels for recipients
have a child hold one end of the yarn while it is stretch across to the other hand, cut
use jumbo ink pads to make one set of hand prints per child
cut out the handprints, no need to cut around fingers
use clear tape to secure each end of the yarn to one of the handprints
give each child a card and have them write their first name
If you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness… Isaiah 58:10
Serve: neighbors who seek assistance at a local food pantry
Connect: help children understand that not everyone has a fridge full of food and some people go without food because they do not have enough money to buy food; a small way children can help is by extending loving encouragement to those in need
Take the Next Step: challenge kids to bring in nonperishable food items to send with the decorated bags to further support the work of a local food pantry
Keep loving each other like family.Don’t neglect to open up your homes to guests, because by doing this some have been hosts to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:1-2
Serve: first time guests to church
Connect: children are often shy or uneasy when visiting a new place and meeting new people; through this mission project they are reaching out to warmly welcome church guests who may also feel anxious or uneasy about coming to a new place
markers, crayons, etc.
pictures of kids
give each child a piece of construction paper to make a paper card
on the front have children write “Welcome” or “Join Us”
on the inside right panel, ask kids to write one thing they enjoy about church
have kids sign the card with their first name only and age
on the opposite side, glue a picture of the child
distribute cards to first time guests as part of an overall welcome to the church
I was overjoyed to find some of your children living in the truth, just as we had been commanded by the Father. – 2 John 1:4
Every child has the power to change the world through serving others. By offering fun, exciting, service opportunities, churches can help kids understand they are on a mission too. And involving children in missions has a direct impact on their future. By training children up in doing the work of the church, we instill in them the importance of serving and prepare them to accept even greater opportunities to serve as adults.
Missions: Kids Style is new series dedicated to offering church leaders in ministry with children a mission plan to engage children in hands-on service projects. Each project takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be easily incorporated into an existing discipleship programs, like Sunday school or children’s church. The first project will post on January 21.
Many of the materials are readily available craft supplies, or may be purchased at a local dollar or grocery store. If a project calls for items in bulk or more specialty supplies, links are provided as a suggestion.
Each mission project is selected for it’s ability to serve a specific group in the church, community, or around the world. Some mission projects will offer opportunities to partner with other organizations to get the completed materials to the people in need. And others take on a holiday theme as way of celebrating the festivities while still emphasizing the Biblical model of serving others. Many of the ideas started with something on Pinterest and have been adapted for the local church to serve as a service project.
Have fun serving in ministry with children and help them to fully live into their place as participants in the work and mission of the church!