36 Ways Your Family Can Make A Difference Through Mission Projects
Doing missions with those you love is an exciting concept. And when your family includes children, it provides a model of Christian love and compassion that they will never forget.
Celebrate Family Missions Month
Churches are encouraged to set aside a particular time of the year to emphasize families working together in mission and ministry projects. A suggested month is August of each year, a time when families begin planning for a new church and school year. Here are several suggestions you can use to celebrate family missions month:
* As a family, look over the suggested list and select several mission activities. If possible, select activities in different categories. Obviously the size and ages of children will determine your mission projects.
* Pastor, other staff ministers, WMU and Brotherhood directors should take the lead in this church-wide mission emphasis.
* Utilize Sunday School, mission group times, prayer meetings, etc. to plan activities and projects.
* Select a time during regular church activities to report to the whole church on these projects. For example: children could share how they make thank-you cards for sanitation workers.
* List on the commitment form your family’s mission activities plans and indicate family member names.
Listed below are a variety of projects for families of all sizes and with children of all ages. Choose one of them or come up with some of your own. Whatever you choose to do, remember to do it in Jesus’ name, giving Him the honor and glory.
1. Outgrown clothes. Go through family clothes and take items that your children have outgrown to a clothes closet in time for needy children to get them before school starts. Try spending some time at the clothes closet helping
2. Outfit newborns. Shop for baby items and donate them to the county health department or other agencies for needy mothers-to-be.
3. Visit the sick. Deliver homemade cards, Sunday School leaflets, children’s books or puzzles to patients on the children’s ward of a hospital.
4. Camp for children of prisoners. During the summer, NCBM and WMU sponsor Camp Angel Tree, camps for boys and girls who have a parent in prison. Offer to provide funds for a boy or girl to come to camp, provide transportation for a child from your area to Camp Caraway or Mundo Vista where the special camps are held or purchase a new outfit for the camper before he comes. (Call the NCBM office for more information 1–800–395–5102).
5. Adopt-a-child. “Adopt” a child in your area who has a parent in prison. Invite this child to family outings and church activities.
6. Clean up a playground. Find an inner city playground or another place where children play on a regular basis, and pick up the trash.
7. Host a field day. Host a game day in your neighborhood. Plan fun games, relay races and refreshments. Invite parents to serve as judges or helpers. Invite some of your church friends so that your neighborhood friends can get to know them.
8. Outfit for school. Provide school supplies for a needy child.
9. Backyard Bible Club. Lead a Backyard Bible Club in an apartment complex or a mobile home park. Preschoolers and children can tell the Bible stories or sing some of the songs as well as help distribute promotion about the club.
2. Missionaries & their families
1. Care packages to MKs. Write personal cards and send care packages to missionary kids who will be starting or returning to college. Or, choose other missionary children who are still on the field to remember on their birthdays or other special occasions. (Birthday information is available from the WMU office, 1–800–395–5102).
2. Visit missionaries. If there are missionaries on furlough in your neighborhood, call and ask if you might visit with them. Ask all kinds of questions about their work and field of service. Consider giving them a gift to take back to the field with them.
3. Service Providers
1. Bus drivers. Put together some type of care package for the bus drivers of your school. Let them know how much you appreciate the important but many times thankless job they do. Also, let them know you will be praying for them as they drive the bus each day.
2. Sanitation workers. Leave cold drinks and a note of thanks to the men and women who pick up your garbage or recyclables.
3. Mail carriers. Leave a bag of homemade goodies for your mail carrier with a note of thanks.
4. Senior Adults
1. Grocery shopping. Grocery shop for an elderly person who cannot drive to the store.
2. Adopt-a-grandparent. Go to an area nursing home and ask the director what resident would be a good one for your family to adopt. Consider choosing a resident who rarely has visitors. Spend time with this person monthly and remember this person on special days such as birthdays, Christmas, etc. Offer to take them to church on a regular basis or for special services.
3. Tape a program. Audio or videotape a special program for homebound persons in your community and take it to them. The program might be a special service at your church or it might be one your family creates.
4. Family work day. Lead your family to have a work day for an elderly person in your neighborhood who may need help with yard work or other chores.
5. Bring outdoor beauty. Plant flowers in the yard of an elderly neighbor or build a birdhouse to hang outside there window.
6. Reading club. Start a reading club with the latest books published on missions. Take turns giving book reviews.
7. Write to your parents or grandparents. Send a family picture and write just to tell them that you love them.
1. Vacation Bible School. Plan to use vacation time to lead a Vacation Bible School or just gather folks for Bible stories and songs.
6. Single Parent Families
1. Parent’s night out. Provide child care to a single parent in your neighborhood. Start a once-a-month parent’s night out.
2. Singles ministry. Begin a Bible study on Saturday afternoons for singles in your neighborhood or apartment complex.
7. Victims of tragedy/crisis
1. Provide comfort and hope. Read the local newspaper to discover people who have had a tragic loss due to fire, flooding, death, etc. Determine with your family ways that you can provide comfort and hope as you minister to these people.
2. Help the homeless. Volunteer one day at a homeless shelter, managing a clothes closet, serving meals, or just offering conversation.
3. Cook for the hungry. Check out the feeding locations in your city or town to see if you can help buy supplies, prepare meals, or do cleanup.
4. Food distribution. Volunteer to assist with Meals on Wheels in your community.
5. Grocery shopping. When you shop for groceries, buy at least one extra nonperishable food item per family member. Then, at the end of the month, take your donations to your church food closet or a local food pantry.
6. Build houses. Check in your neighborhood to see if Habitat for Humanity is building some houses. Adults might help with the construction, children might help with clearing the land. Or check with your church to see if there’s a home in the neighborhood that needs some repair which the owners can’t do.
8. New Neighbors
1. New students. Find out from your school names of all the new students in the area. Make a home visit and offer to meet them on the first day of school. Escort them and show them around, introduce them to teachers and other students.
2. Family cookout. Invite a new family in your neighborhood to a family cookout. Then ask them to come to church with you.
3. International neighbors. Invite a family from another country who lives in your neighborhood to a meal or family outing. See if they need anything to help them get settled in the United States. Invite them to attend church with you.
1. Prayer list. As a family, compile a prayer list of all those people that you are going to be interacting with during the next school year—teachers, coaches, students, etc. Choose a time when the family will gather specifically to pray for them. Begin in August.
2. Missions Weekend. With August being the last month of the summer, dedicate one weekend as a family weekend. Plan one missions activity to do during that weekend as a family.
3. Sacrifice for missions. Lead your family to give up a certain item (soft drinks, video’s, etc.) for the entire month of August and give the money you would have spent on it to local mission needs or to the North Carolina Missions Offering.