Don’t panic! It’s not that hard. I promise.
Going to church on Sundays is vital. However, participating in an activity outside of Sunday can allow our faith come alive for our kids in a very, very bold way. Getting children involved in church is key — and it’s not as hard as we think. They are naturally “faith in action” types that just need small (or big!) opportunities.
Sure, we can look through the church bulletin. Most are available online if you’re one of those folks (ahem…) who tends to lose theirs from the back door of the church to home. And there we will find many opportunities that kids can participate in non-Sunday activities.
Children’s ministries, youth groups and service projects are the typical places that our church welcomes kids to fully engage their membership in the Body of Christ.
But, let’s get creative here, shall we?
Do they have a heart for the poor? Let’s bring them to our local thrift shop and help them pick out 5 winter coats to donate to a homeless shelter. They get to broaden their little worlds just by a 10 minute errand.
Do they have a heart for a larger world-wide impact? Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful way to show kids how simple, everyday objects that they perhaps take for granted are desperately needed by children all over the world.
Are they shy and don’t really want to be noticed — but still want to do SOMETHING? Find an activity that gives to another one.
For example, Project Linus is a charity that most kids can relate to very well. What kid doesn’t love their blanket? Or those who are older, they all still have fond memories of having them growing up. If you are particularly gifted in the arts and crafts area (that blessing skipped me unfortunately), sewing blankets together would be an incredible way to bless other kids without ever having to be in a large group.
I found this EASY pattern for making blankets that I am considering (pray for me) doing with my kids. There is no sewing involved and depending on the age of your child, you could allow them to do the whole shebang or just let them finish it up.
Last but not least — call your church! Tell them that you are looking for something your family can do either together or separately. They will know where your talents could best be used. Let them know how much time commitment you have. Some activities or events are a one time event, while others happen on regular intervals.
What do we do if they simply don’t care enough at this stage in their life?
This is a good time to set an example and offer them a part in participating. If they see us making Thanksgiving baskets for needy folks at home, for example, they see that it’s not as big of a sacrifice as they might think. Let them do something little, even if it’s just helping you load and unload the car with them.
Ask God to reveal opportunities to us regarding participating in an activity outside of church. He will honor the desires of our hearts. Let’s also pray with our children about this as well. Adults aren’t the only ones open for discernment. We might be surprised by how God uses their willing hearts.
What activities does your family participate in outside of Sunday church?
How have you encouraged your kids to step outside of Sunday church and do something challenging?
When have you seen your children’s world view expand as a result?