Serving As A Family

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everthing you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded towards your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.  Deuteronomy 15:10-11

One time around Christmas, I was teaching about Operation Christmas Child during Children’s Worship. We discussed why the ministry was important and asked the children which thing mattered more — the gifts or the fact that kids would learn about Jesus. Of course they knew the right church answers. 

We played a game where I asked questions and the kids would go to the right if they agreed and the left if they disagreed. The first question was, “Does God want us to help take care of those in need?” Everyone went to the right wall. The second question was, “Should we give our money to help those in need?” All but one child stayed at the right wall. The last questions was, “Would you be willing to give up one of your Christmas Presents to help someone in need? All but one child went to the left wall. Only one was willing to sacrifice one of their presents for someone else. 

Though it was a little funny, it was also tragic because I believe it is how most of us think. “Yes, we should help those in need but I am not going to sacrifice to do so.” I know we don’t say so intentionally, but we demonstrate this by the way that we give.

There are so many opportunities to help those in need. I am thrilled by the things that our church is doing between now and Christmas to help people. Here are some ways you can encourge giving as a family:

Food Relief (Grocery Giveaway). It is an amazing opportunity for our families to serve others and see how they can make a difference.  Kids can help load each bag with items or they can greet each visitor as they pull up for their groceries. They can see God’s love put into action.

Forest Park Ministry Center Food Drive. Kids can help pick which items to donate by choosing their favorite items to eat. I had a great friend who just recently passed away. She put a box of cake mix and a can of frosting in every bag she packed “because everyone has a reason to celebrate something.” 

Operation Christmas Child. What a worthy cause! Visit the website and let your kids see what a difference their gift makes. We always made our children do chores to earn the money for their boxes. Ask your kids if they would be willing to give up one of their own presents to help with the box. Be sure not to guilt them into sacrificing. For some kids, this may be too much overload so at least let them help you choose the items you put in the box.  Maybe you could take a picture of the items in the box and get them the same thing for their Christmas stockings. 

The Myers/Mallory State Missions Offering. This offering helps with missions in the State of Alabama and also with disaster relief when hurricanes and tornadoes affect our state. 

Sam’s Angel Market. Due to COVID, only money will be collected instead of toys this year. However, let your kids be involved in what you give and let them help decide a dollar amount. 

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This offering helps missionaries all over the world. Let your kids spin a globe and touch down their finger and pray for the country that they land on. Then pray that the gift that you are giving will help the missionaries spread the gospel in that area. If you don’t have a globe, name a country where you think people need to hear about Jesus.

There are boundless opportunities for us to make a difference and for our kids to see that we, as parents, are actively doing our part to help. IF we want our kids to grow up supporting their church through their tithes and gifts, then they need to see us doing it and prioritizing it in our own lives. Let them know how much you support your church. It does not need to be a secret from them. Remind them that this is information for your family only. 

-Pastor Greg

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