By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Columnist, B&R
As a family unit, the Jones’ clan adopts one large missions project each year. “As our children are involved in missions organizations, I believe, parents must set an example of service,” ”says Mr. Jones. “That’s why the children find extra chores and small jobs in the neighborhood and save these funds for helping the homeless in our community. We work together.”
While the Smith family believes in missions, they seldom take time to get involved. “I suppose we should be more concerned, but we’re so busy,” says Mrs. Smith. “Both my husband and I work and the children have after-school sports, band, and part-time jobs. Maybe when they’re older, they will see the need and participate more.”
If you had to choose a family whose children would continue as adults to seek missions opportunities would you choose the Jones or the Smith family? Raising missions-minded kids in today’s world requires time and dedication. All families are busy, but when something is important, you make time. After all, parents are their child’s first and best teacher.
When your church observes missions emphasis week, involve the entire family in various activities. Or, plan a special focus during Spring break. The North American Mission Board offers some suggestions. Would these projects work for your clan?
- Collect basic staples or ingredients and recipes for needy families. When a family experiences an emergency, provide a meal or main dish recipe.
- Depending on the season, collect appropriate clothing, such as winter coats, mittens, and caps.
- Plan a “lunch-in-the-park” sack lunch for needy people who may gather in a nearby park. Parents or adult leaders should accompany children.
- Collect motel-size samples of personal hygiene products, including shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste, bars of soap for a homeless shelter. Or, distribute to locations where the homeless congregate.
- Plan a food drive for a homeless shelter. Provide children with a flyer and a plastic bag to be left on porches or doorknobs. Parents provide transportation. Pick up bags the following day. Encourage church members and community residents to donate non-perishable food items for a local food pantry.
When parents become part of missions projects you are teaching your child to obey God’s words found in Luke 6:31 (HCSB): “Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.”
— Tomlin of Jackson writes for the Christian market. She teaches the Boot Camp for Christian Writers. Email: email@example.com