Summer is imminent—and so are opportunities for your family to serve others and share the love of Jesus together! No matter if you can’t wait for the sun, heat, and beach-weather clothing or if you’re just biding your time until it cools off again (me), summer is too important to waste. With most schools on break until the fall, your kids are probably ripe with excitement to be out of the classroom for an extended amount of time. Rather than let your family fall prey to the apathy of sitting around your house, brainstorm together to decide on a missions project (or projects) that fits your family’s interests and strengths while sharing the love of Jesus with those who desperately need to know Him.
A little inspiration goes a long way. If your family brainstorming session needs a little kick-start, here are some fresh ideas to help your thoughts flow:
- Many of us have a favorite ice-pop establishment (or at least a favorite brand from the store). Why not make your family the “next big thing” in ice-pop creation? Search online for some easy but creative ice-pop ideas. Spend time as a family mixing together the flavors. Then, add the juice to ice-pop molds and stick in the freezer. Set up an ice-pop stand in your yard. Don’t forget to use a cooler! (If you live in an area with little traffic, obtain the necessary permission to set up in a more public space, such as a park.) Offer the ice-pops with no obligations, but encourage your family to strike up conversations with the people who stop by. If anyone asks why you’re giving away ice-pops, tell how your family wants to share the love of Jesus with others.
- Contact a local Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps (CWJC/CMJC) site to coordinate a meal provided by your family. Ask the site coordinator what types of foods the participants enjoy, as well as how many to cook for. Prepare the meal as a family. Be sure to include enough food for everyone (don’t be afraid of leftovers). As a family, deliver the meal to the CWJC/CMJC site and serve to participants with genuine smiles and kindness. Bag any leftovers so participants can enjoy what is left for part of another meal or snack. Rather than rush out as soon as the meal is over, stick around to interact with participants and get to know them. You never know what some of them might be going through. Your interest in their lives and their company is a great way to lift any spirits that might be down.
- Invite your neighborhood to an evening movie night in your own backyard. Plan the event as a family. Choose an appropriate movie with a Christian message. Set up a projector and screen and surround it with either chairs or picnic-style blankets and pillows. Crisscross strands of round outdoor lights above your backyard. Set out snacks and refreshments. (If you need some assistance paying for this, maybe your church could help sponsor your family event.) Spread the word around your neighborhood with flyers, phone calls, or even a conversation when you see a neighbor passing by. After the movie night is over, maintain relationships with other neighbors by exchanging numbers and being friendly as you pass each other in the neighborhood. Connect with other families, and spend time together as a larger group. The time your family spends investing in others at your movie night could lead to many opportunities to share the love of Jesus.
You don’t have to participate in an official missions trip in order to do missions as a family. From simple ideas to those that take some planning, your family has the ability to reach others with the good news of Jesus because God gave you that ability. Don’t let that gift go to waste as the summer sun sets in. Let the family missions fun begin!
Written by Jessica Graham