I hope to give a vision through these posts that learning to invest in the lives of others isn’t a complicated, difficult task. Families with little ones can be a part of ministering to others. This post will give you ideas if you are a family with only little people. Next time, I’ll talk about things families with older kids can undertake.
Learning by example is a powerful way to learn. As you take your little ones by the hand and seek to be a blessing to those around you, believe me, those little people are taking it all in. I raised 14 kids. I understand your time is limited. Some things you just have to say “NO” to and wait for a different season of life, but teaching kids to be servant-hearted is something that shouldn’t wait. It’s what you’re supposed to be doing and it’s SO much more important than teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s foundational.
Like I said in an earlier post, I wrote Character in Action: Taking the Next Steps with the purpose of casting a vision and providing you with practical help to get started.
So here are just a few suggestions (and pictures) taken from that book – things that you as parents with little people can actually make happen.
Creativity in Sharing the Gospel:
- Make some cookies or a pie to bring to your neighbors. When you deliver them ask them if there is any need in their life your family can pray for. We have done this in the past and at present we have several older neighbors. My goal for this year is to schedule calling them each month to see if there is anything we can do to help them out- leaf raking, taking them to a doctor’s appointment, mowing etc. Often this can bring up the opportunity to share the gospel with them. Let your child hear you as you do that.
Kindness in Action
- Have your child pick a person in church to hug each week just to be an encouragement. Have them draw the person a picture or make a card for them. Every once in a while. go visit them as a family or take them cookies or dinner, or go sing to them at Christmas. Teach your children to listen for hints of things the person likes- purple flowers, Cadbury candy bars, apple pie, spring flowers, etc., so you can surprise them sometime with a treat.
Sensitivity in Action
- Visit some elderly folks who can’t get out much anymore. Find out what they used to love to do that they can’t anymore, such as get pizza at Sams, and surprise them next time with a pizza lunch. Let your kids serve them. Bring the paper plates and utensils. Clean up before you leave. Keep them company as they eat.
Compassion in Action:
- Let your little ones do jobs to raise money for disaster relief or pregnancy centers or soup kitchens or even Christmas child boxes or families whose Dad can’t work, and so on….
Initiative in Action:
- Find something you can do to be of help to mom or dad, like maybe entertaining a fussy baby or take baby’s diaper to the trash. or wash finger prints off the wall. Maybe just make Dad a card thanking him for working hard for your family’s needs.
Generosity in Action:
- Find a child who’s family is struggling financially. Ask your child to think of a toy they could give to one of the children- one of theirs that is in great shape- or allow them to do jobs to save money to buy them one.
Honor in Action
- Look for a man in a store wearing a World War II cap or Korean War or Vietnam War. Encourage your little one to go over with you to shake his hand and thank him for his service to our country so you can live in freedom.
Hospitality in Action:
- Ask your child to pick some pretty flowers to put on the table the next time you have company over or allow them to help serve the company or wipe tables afterwards.
These are just a few ideas to prime your pump. When you get in the habit, you’ll see opportunities springing up everywhere!
Next time- ideas for older kids….
Buy Character in Action for more ideas, stories, and pictures!