How Families Can Make a Difference in Their Community

If you’re ready to get your family out into the community and find ways to make a difference together, but aren’t sure where to start, check out these ideas!

First, model it. We can’t lead our kids where we’ve never been. You lead the way for your kids by showing them what it means to serve others. Let them see you serving consistently each Sunday at church. Let them see you making a meal for someone who needs it. Let them see you cutting the grass for a neighbor. Let them hear you praying for a missionary. Let them see you donating items to a ministry. Your kids will need to see serving in action to know what it is and how they can be a part of it.

Second, talk about it. Remind your kids early and often that Jesus himself said that he came not to be served but to serve others. For example, when you’re driving and you see a homeless person on the side of the road, talk about what you could do to help him/her and listen to your child’s answers. When you’re eating dinner together, ask your child how they showed care for someone that day. When there’s a need in your church or community and you learn about it, tell your kids about the need. Then together, brainstorm ways your family could meet that need. Use everyday moments to engage your kids in conversations about serving.

Third, serve together. Involve your kids by letting them serving alongside you. There are so many ways you can serve together! If you have young kids, pick up trash in your neighborhood together. Bake cookies and deliver them to your local fire station. Make a gift for a teacher and encourage your child to write or color the card. If you know of an organization that needs donations, take your child to the store and let them help pick out items and deliver them together.

As your kids get older, consider serving with one of Traders Point’s local outreach partners together. Many of our partners have opportunities that are family friendly. Check out regularly for serving opportunities.

As you take advantage of different serving opportunities together, ask about their experience:

  • What did you learn about the people or the ministry we served with?
  • What did you like about our time serving together?
  • How did you get to use your skills or abilities to make a difference?

Parents, we encourage you to start small and give your kids grace. Depending on the age of your kids, they may only be able to serve for 30 minutes to an hour. That’s okay! Celebrate whatever time they spend serving others. As you continue to find rhythms for serving together, you’ll find that your kids are cultivating a heart of service, even at a young age.