by Josh Dryer/ March 1, 2016
One of my favorite Bible verses is found in the book of James. “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22 (NLT)
I try to view our kids’ ministry through the lens of James 1:22. Oftentimes we do a great job teaching kids biblical principles, but how are we at providing opportunities for kids to live it out? Summer is a great time to provide multiple opportunities for kids to do outreach. First, getting kids involved helps them live out what they are learning. Second, when kids get involved in outreach it helps develop within them a heart of compassion and service.
Here are 5 easy outreaches you can plan with your kids’ ministry.
1) Serve at a local soup kitchen!
Call your local soup kitchen or homeless feeding center and schedule a time for your kidmin to come and serve. Kids will get the opportunity to greet as guests come in, serve people food through the line, wait on people as waiters or waitresses, and wash dishes in the back. Kids will have a blast doing different jobs, and all will have the opportunity to minister in each position!
2) Clean up or beautify a local school!
Mobilize your kids and parents to better a local school! Call the principal and ask what their greatest need is. That may be gardening, clean up work on the outside of the building, or painting on the inside. Summer is a great time to do this because there are no classes going on, but principals and your community will be blessed with a better looking campus!
3) Partner with a smaller church and do a VBS!
This could be an upper elementary student outreach. Spend a few weeks memorizing worship songs, puppet scripts, and skits. Use these students to put on VBS services and work as classroom helpers at a smaller church. Kids will learn responsibility and get to use their gifts, and you will have an opportunity to invest in another kids’ ministry.
4) Offer a free lunch for kids in your community once a week!
Many kids in the summer go without a meal because they are not getting their meal at school. Choose a day during the week that works best, and have kids help prepare food or activities for the other kids. They get to serve a need and build relationships with their peers. This could also serve as a way to break misconceptions of what “church” is like, and families may begin to attend regularly.
5) Visit a nursing home!
There are all kinds of things you can do at a nursing home! Have the kids teach Sunday’s lesson to the residents. Write cards of encouragement with Bible verses and give them out. Eat lunch with those who live there, or even just sing a few songs and pray for people.
Moving our kids’ ministries from a abstract learning style to a tangible learning style lays the ground work for kids to grow up to become doers of the word rather than just hearers.