Service tends to be something I think about a lot. It is so important to serve others but I have gone from seasons of not serving anyone at all to seasons of stretching myself way too thin with service projects. As I seek a balance between the two extremes, I’m learning that one way to serve others without neglecting my children is to involve my kids in the process. I want to share a few of those ideas with you.
Keep in mind that any chore your children can do for your family is a chore they can help do for someone else.
Here are a few service project ideas that kids can help with:
This can include washing dishes, sweeping floors, dusting furniture, organizing clothes, and scrubbing bathrooms.
Older kids can mow grass and do other heavy yard-work while younger children pull weeds or sweep the sidewalks.
Whether you’re taking a full meal to a new mom, baking brownies for a new neighbor, or shopping for a small bag of groceries for someone in need, children can help with this task.
Does little Susie have the gift of gab? Put her chatting skills to good use by calling someone who may feel a little lonely. Even if your child is shy, it’s possible to be sensitive about that tendency while still encouraging him or her to step out of the comfort zone.
Take children along to a nursing home or an elderly person’s home.
Find a charity that your family can get passionate about helping, then designate a place for loose change. Watch the little stash grow and once you reach a set amount, deposit the money in the bank and write a check to your charity.
Final Thought: Embrace the Mess
Service projects with kids can sometimes feel like a recipe for disaster. That’s just life! It’s okay. Embrace it. Keep things simple. As your family serves together, you’ll figure out what you’re good at and what you’re not-so-good at. Find joy in the messy stuff and your family will be blessed as you learn to bless others together.
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:35-40
What about you? What ideas do you have for involving your children in serving others?