As a youth pastor, I am always looking for opportunities to include families in ministry. Family involvement is crucial in the spiritual growth of children. Part of that spiritual growth begins when children begin to think with a missions mindset—from inward to outward thinking. This missions mindset will thrive when children see their parents, who are often some of their greatest influences, serving and sharing God’s love within their community.
Volunteering at a local food bank provides a great opportunity for children and families to work together in missions. I was a youth pastor in a small community with a food bank that was operated by volunteers from the local ministerial alliance. One of their biggest needs was for volunteers on truck day. I witnessed volunteers of all ages serve together with their hands and feet as the body of Christ. Most did not think they were doing “missions work,” but they certainly were! In every country, state, and city there are needs very similar to this that provide opportunities for families to share the love of Christ together.
Prayerfully consider a few of these ideas to involve families in the ministry of a local food bank:
- Plan a community food drive to collect nonperishable food items for a local food bank.
- Decorate paper grocery sacks and deliver to a local food bank to use for food distribution. Children can draw pictures and add favorite Bible verses.
- Volunteer your time at a local food bank. Distribute food or help with other needs, such as cleaning and organizing shelves.
- Collect and package single-serve, easy-to-prepare food items to be distributed to a school backpack food ministry.
However families choose to serve, they reflect the body of Christ and His love by being on mission together.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually
1 Corinthians 12:27 NKJV
by Todd Jones