Have you ever put something by the door so you wouldn’t forget to take it with you, then stepped over it on your way out – only to arrive without the needed item? The Christian life can be like that most of the time. We tell our kids (and ourselves) the story of the Good Samaritan and how we need to love and serve our neighbors, and then miss dozens of opportunities each day to do just that.
One of the best ways to help your kids grow up to become Christians who live their faith, is to help them be constantly aware of the opportunities God gives them to serve Him. Many of these opportunities come in the form of serving others and sharing their faith while they do it. I can promise you though, no matter how many times you discuss it as a family or model it, your kids will still not see many of these opportunities.
A fun way to begin to open their eyes to the opportunities God can and does give them is to go on a service scavenger hunt. Give each child a notebook and a pen. Then hit the road. You may want to make your first stop your church building. As you walk around the property. Encourage your kids to write down every way they can think of people can serve God while in and around your church building.
Then go to the park or a mall – any place with lots of people. Have your kids write down more ways they can think of to serve people. Keep walking or driving around your town and encourage your kids to think about other ways to serve people and share their faith as you pass schools, hospitals,, nursing homes and more.
End your scavenger hunt at your house. Have your kids write down all of the ways they can serve family members. Then step outside of your house and have them do the same about their neighbors. Encourage them to be as specific as possible about these people they probably know the best. Want to get really challenging? Pull out a map of your state, your country or even the world and have your kids write down more ideas.
Once their lists are complete. Talk about what they wrote down. How many of theses things would they have even thought about without the game? What can they do to be more aware of the opportunities God is giving them? With older kids and teens, have some more mature discussions about the realities of not always being able to meet every need and how Christians need to work together to meet the overwhelming needs in the world.
Make the time to extend the activity. Encourage each child to pick one thing from their list. Depending upon your situation and how much time and money you have, you may even want to give them a set amount of cash to use. Have them do what they can to take advantage of this opportunity God let them see. How can they share their faith, by telling someone about God, inviting them to Church or encouraging them in their Christian walk as they serve?
Have lots of fun, but periodically remind each other to keep those eyes open and make every day a scavenger hunt for the ways God wants to use your family to serve Him. You may just be surprised at how your family’s faith grows in the process.