Everyone has heard the complaints about the current generation– that they are self absorbed and greedy. I don’t pretend to be a profit, but I must admit that this sounds pretty familiar…
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless,swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV
Hope for Our Children and Future GenerationsWe are called to be the hands and feet of Christ and teach our children to do the same. Click To Tweet
Regardless of what you believe about the end of times, I know that we have been called to live a life that is different right now. We need to teach our children to serve and love others not only for themselves, but to bring hope to others. We are called not only to be the hands and feet of Christ, but to teach our children to be the hands and feet for current and future generations. Service projects give us a tangible way to do this.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galations 5:13-14 ESV
What Can We Do?
We can lead by example. Not just that, but we can get our children involved in service projects and move them to action.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17 ESV
I don’t want my children to have a dead faith. I want it to be living and active! I want to raise my children to believe that, with God’s leading, they have the power to change the world. Providing service projects they can participate in moves their faith from theory into action.
I want to raise my children to believe that, with God, they have the power to change the world. Click To Tweet
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV
How Do We Do This?
It is actually a lot easier than you might think. Some of you might be a part of a church or organization that provides regular service opportunities in which you can participate. Sometimes those activities tend to not be family friendly. There are several opportunities, such as serving food to the homeless, that can require a minimum age limit to serve. This makes it a bit difficult when you have little ones.
If you keep your eyes open and add a splash of creativity, you will be surprised by all the opportunities even the littlest ones have. What a blessing to see toddlers and preschoolers out in the world learning to serve! You can even strap a baby on and go to it!
I want to take a second to emphasize that the children should be ACTIVELY SERVING, at least for most service projects. They aren’t just collecting something from others. There is great value in collecting things that are needed, but to see a child actually DOING something has value and makes a bigger impact on the child who serves. When possible, we like for our children to see who they are serving and have interaction with them.
Here are a few examples of opportunities for your entire family to serve:
- Helping cook meals for neighbors or friends and deliver them
- Picking up trash at a local park
- Taking treats to the local fire or police station
- Caroling at a hospital or nursing home
- Handing out food to the homeless
- Making and selling dog treats for a local animal shelter
There are tons of simple and fun Random Acts of Kindness when you start looking around.There are tons of simple and fun Random Acts of Kindness when you look around. Click To Tweet
It’s Always More Fun With a Group
If you really want to make an impact in a fun way, you may want to consider putting a service group together. Ask people in your local circles and places you already do life. You will most likely find others with the same heart. It is a wonderful thing to show your children that your family is not the only one out there serving others. There is power when what you are teaching at home is affirmed by other important figures in a child’s life.
We put together a local group of like-minded families. The leaders meet annually to brainstorm service projects for the year. There are three leaders, so we can divide up the monthly service projects. We have found that doing a service project once a month keeps service at the forefront our our children’s minds, but is still doable. Once we take off some in the summer, no leader is left coordinating more than 3-4 events per year. Another great thing is that when you work with service organizations already in your community, all you really have to do to coordinate is talk to those leaders to set a date. Then you just get the word out to your group!
What service projects do you do with your family?