By: Vini Westfall, CMA Missions Community Coordinator
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
This beautiful and powerful Bible verse can be found on display in several Christian homes. But even with this verse at the forefront of the house, it’s hard to live it out in the middle of our busy day-to-day lives with activities and commitments like school, sports, clubs, jobs, meals, and so on.
In the middle of the busyness, a family tradition of serving others will impact you and your children for the rest of their lives. If you need some ideas on how your family can serve together, here are five to get you started:
Many families go on a yearly mission trip to serve in another state or country. This kind of service can be powerful because it is often surprisingly more impactful on the family serving than it is on those they serve. Your family may gain a deeper understanding of poverty and culture, and even develop a new appreciation for things that you have been taking for granted.
There are lots of ways in which you could, literally, serve your neighbor. Are there any older couples in your neighborhood that could use help with yardwork or housework? Is there a park that could use some cleaning up? Maybe there is someone who lives alone who would love to be invited to dinner. Ask your children to look around the neighborhood and see if they can find any needs that could be met by your family.
Food is a common need for families with a new baby, dealing with sickness, or older individuals. Spend some family time in the kitchen cooking and preparing a nice meal for anyone your family wishes to serve. Whether it is a neighbor, someone from church, a homeless person, another family, or someone who has served you, preparing food for another person is a wonderful way to serve others.
How many people do you know could use prayer? Everyone. Serving others through prayer is another way your family can put others’ needs before your own. Have your children keep track and write down problems or concerns they hear about at school or at church. Put it on your family calendar once a week or twice a week to have family prayer time, and bless others with the gift of prayer.
Ask your children to pick a charity or organization that they would like to volunteer for, then go serve as a family. You could try different organizations to see where your family’s talents are most helpful. Your own church could probably use some extra hands with projects or upcoming activities.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”