WHY SERVE TOGETHER?

  • The joy of making a difference together
  • An opportunity to emphasize generosity and humility with our children
  • Increasing a child’s sense of gratitude through exposure to those less fortunate

WHY DON’T WE SERVE TOGETHER?

  • Never considered serving together
  • Schedules too full with “us” focused activities
  • Age of kids makes it challenging
  • Have not found the right opportunity

Step 1 - Before Serving Together

SOME THINGS TO DO IN PREPARATION

FIND A SHARED PASSION:

Spend some time talking with your family or group about the things that interest and concern them. It will be more meaningful if you have a shared passion for the specific area of service. (Examples: If your family has an interest in poverty-stricken areas, choose the Canned Food Collection or North Texas Foodbank. You may have a teenager that loves kids and it would be great to serve in the Rainbow Express at Mission Arlington.)

SET EXPECTATIONS:

Discuss what you are going to do before you do it. If you have kids that will be serving the Elderly, then put your child more at ease by explaining that they may encounter odd sights, sounds and smells. If feeding the homeless, share why some people may not be able to take regular baths but we love them anyway. If helping children with special needs, explain why some can’t respond “normally” to conversations, etc. Set the tone for a great time together!

Step 2 – Pick Your Serving Opportunity

HILLCREST HAS GOSPEL-CENTERED PARTNERS WITH SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR GROUP OR FAMILY

Mission Arlington
North Texas Food Bank
Engaging residents at local Nursing Homes and Retirement Centers
Police and Fire Department Engagement and Appreciation

Step 3 – Activities

USE ONE OR MORE OF THESE ACTIVITIES TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN LEARN MORE ABOUT THAT IS MEANS TO BE A SERVANT

I SPY

Take the family eat at to a sit-down restaurant. Tell the children they are spies who must identify the best servant at the restaurant. Help them notice the waiters and waitresses. Ask children to point out clues that represent a servant’s attitude, spirit and work. (i.e. Listening well, taking care of the needs of others, etc.)

FROZEN ARMS

Tell the children that you magically froze their arms so they are not allowed to bend elbows or wrists. Place candy or cookies in the middle of the table and tell them they can each eat one. It will be impossible to serve themselves, and they must figure out how to serve one another to get the good stuff! Explain that we are called to serve those unable to serve themselves – but the real blessing comes back to us.

READ TOGETHER

Read and discuss the following Scriptures:

Mark 10:43-45
Jesus described servants as “great”.

Philippians 2:5-7
Jesus modeled humility and service.

James 1:27
Christians are to care for the needy.

Step 4 – While Serving Together

SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND DURING YOUR SERVICE PROJECT

BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:

Serving together is an ideal time to get to know each other better. Take note of what different people do well. Intentionally encourage them and tell them you are proud of how they demonstrated a great attitude or area of strength.

GO DEEPER:

Work as a group to really invest in others’ lives. Spend some time learning the names of those you serve. Look them in the eyes and find out their interests and their story. Allow those you serve to learn about your family. This will allow your children to see those you are serving as valued individuals and possibly similar to your own family. This may also create great conversations later with your child.

BE SAFE:

While it is great to serve together and try new things, it’s just as important to make sure that you are not putting anyone in your family or group in a risky situation. Keep a close eye on one another, especially children/teenagers. Parents might want to make sure that you are working directly with each other or that you can see your child at all times.

SERVING WITH YOUR SPOUSE:

Serving with your spouse can help create intimacy, allow you to learn more about one another, provide opportunities for greater communication, and model meaningful partnership.

Step 5 – After Serving Together

SOME THINGS TO DO AFTERWARDS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR EXPERIENCE

WHAT?

  • What kind of difference did we make together?
  • Allow each member to share any stories about the experience. They can be sad, silly, frustrating, funny or serious and touching stories.

WHY?

  • Why was it important to do this project together as a family/group?
  • How did it fit with the values and beliefs that are important to your family/group?
  • How did it impact you?

NOW WHAT?

  • Is there anything that you will do differently as a family/group as the result of your time serving together?
  • How did it impact your entire family/group?
  • What kinds of activities do you want to do in the future?

PRAY

Take a few minutes to pray as a family asking God to bless those you served by using your act of service to bring hope, healing and grace into their lives.