Done well, service projects can help your kids grow, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. They can help your children start to really understand how all of those pieces of their faith fit together to form a Christian life.
Service projects can help your kids discover, develop and use the gifts God has given them. They can teach them how to be more godly in the ways they interact with others. While serving others, your kids can begin sharing their faith, so serving others and sharing their faith become a natural part of their daily lives.
So what service projects are best for your kids to learn all of these things? That’s the best part. What the actual project is and whom they are serving doesn’t matter as much as how they are encouraged to participate in the project.
Talk with your kids about what concerns them about the world today. What do they feel makes God said? Whom do they believe is underserved or ignored by Christians? What gifts do they think God has given them to serve others?
Use those answers and allow your kids to plan the ways they will serve others this summer. Our Teach One Reach One Ministries website has over 100 service project ideas. They are even tied to Bible lessons, so your kids can also learn more about the Bible as they plan.
Give them a budget and a time frame. Provide guidance by asking them questions rather than telling them what to do. The more of the planning they do, the more they will ultimately learn from the project.
If your kids seem to get discouraged or lose interest, spur them on to good works by encouraging them. Offer to help them, but don’t take over the project. For some kids, several small projects may be better than one larger project. Sometimes involving other family members and friends will make a project seem less overwhelming and more fun.
Give your kids the encouragement and freedom to serve others and share their faith this summer. You may just be surprised at what they can accomplish!