You must rise in the presence of an old person and respect the elderly. Leviticus 19:32a
Serve: elder care facilities
Connect: children won’t have a heard time imagining a time they have felt bored, encourage them to think of something that would have made that time more joyful (reading a book, playing a game, drawing a picture, etc.); explain that at many elder care facilities, older adults eat together and often wait quite awhile before being served, which we might imagine can get boring; challenge children to think of how something as simple as a placemat could make waiting more enjoyable — what can they do to turn an ordinary placemat into something an elder may enjoy?
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
Serve: children visiting church for the first time
Connect: help children imagine going to a new place filled with strangers and how they may feel, even if the place is a church; invite them to share ideas about welcoming first time visitors to your church; then challenge children to think about a special welcome for other children to help kids feel extra special when they visit
Take the next step: encourage children to serve as greeters to help welcome all guests to church
before class, print the “One Thing” card onto heavy paper and cut to create four cards
give each child a “One Thing” and a thin marker
read children the question “What is one thing about God’s love you want another kid to know?”
encourage children to think about things they enjoy at church to help them learn and grow in God’s love
ask children to neatly write their answer in the space provided
combine the following in a cello bag
“One Thing” card from child
one sharpened pencils
one dumdum lollipop
close each bag using the provided twist ties
Tip: If your church gives first time visitors welcome materials (like a bag or mug, etc.), then be sure to show those to the kids and explain that every guest receives a welcome gift.
Special Tip: As United Methodist pastors begin new appointments, this is an excellent way to introduce themselves to children. Make one of these simple bags for each child and present it during the children’s sermon or as you visit with children in other settings. After you introduce yourself, explain that you hope to teach them a lot about God’s amazing love and the first thing you want them to know is written no the card inside.
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!