When I was in High School, my youth group went on a missions trip to inner-city Philadelphia. We did puppet shows and Bible clubs for kids in the projects, we painted buildings and painted some more. Two of the chaperones that week were my parents. My mom worked at our church, but my dad had to take a week off to be a chaperone for my trip. Why? Because he loves teenagers? Well, maybe. But really, one teenager–ME.
My parents always worked hard at making sure we worked hard together. We have served food to homeless, set up puppet shows for kids in the inner-city, cleaned up churches and been counselors at camp together. And when we do these things together we’re making memories because the events are fun! Our trip to Philly has all kinds of inside jokes and memories. Camp is a big deal we talk about all year. Hard work does more than just get jobs done. Hard work binds people together. And when that hard work is kingdom-work, ministry-minded, serving-Jesus-by-serving-others kinda work? The bonds go even deeper.
Think about the last time you had a big project to do–maybe decorating for someone’s wedding, cooking 300 hotdogs for a baseball game or spending two hours rocking crying babies in the church nursery. When it was all said and done, didn’t you feel a little connection to the other people you worked with? The next time you saw them, did they comment on the event you had just pulled off?
When you join hands to work together, you tend to keep those hands clasped!
This is a pattern you want to keep with your children. It’s not just about working around the house or raking leaves in the yard (although those count, too!). I’m talking about working for God with your kids. I know you might be an usher at church, lead a small group or deliver meals to shut-ins on the weekends. But when was the last time you AND your kids served together?
My husband and I volunteer in the children’s department at our church but we’ve also tried to do things at home that will help our kids learn to serve. Check out some of our big service projects—Collect for Kenya and Shoes2Share and our Monthly Missions!
I’ve collected some great serve-with-your-kids ideas on my Do Hard Things Pinterest Board. Look around–you’ll be inspired!
When you do ministry together, you’ll be making memories, yes. But you’ll be doing more, you’ll be actually serving Jesus together. It’s bonding, not only with each other, but with the King of Kings! And He is who I really want my kids joined to!
How do you minister WITH your kids?