As people of faith, we want to encourage the members of our church family to continually grow in their faith.
Our primary goal as followers of Christ is that all should know who their heavenly Father is and that He wishes to have an intimate and purpose-filled relationship with each and every one of His precious children. The Four keys of Caring Conversations, Devotions, Service, Rituals and Traditions provide some ideas that can assist us. Christian values and faith are passed on to the next generation when they are seen in action. Faith becomes real when others can see God working in the lives of people.
Family life provides one of the foundational settings for the development of a life of service. Family relationships provide a primary context in which Christians are …to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
Jesus tells us to serve others. Engaging in service with one’s family can be a powerful opportunity for growing in faith. Both children and adults are more likely to have a strong, growing faith when their family serves others together. Serving others reminds us of the breadth of the Kingdom of God and that our faith is personal but not private. Faith motivates us to serve the world in love. To help teach your children to develop a servant’s heart, take them by the hand and lead them, showing them by your actions how to do it.
“When parent and child/teen together perform service activities, the child/teen sees the parent’s capability, faith, and values in action. The cross-generational bond takes place not only in the service event, but also in the retelling of the event through the years. . . . Most significantly, service is not merely a once a month outing….Service is the day-in and day-out lifestyle we lead that manifests the faith in us and involves our children in the faith. It embodies the Christian ethic of ‘faith working through love’ Parents and families have the opportunity to engage in this key every day. “
(Anderson and Hill, 2003 Frogs without Legs Can’t Hear p 151-152)
Brainstorm all the ways you can serve as a family or as individuals. Think about serving in your family and home, your church, local neighbourhood and wider community. Make this list visible somewhere in your home to remind you of putting your faith into action.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Help serve food at a shelter.
- Make a food, clothing, or toy hamper for a family in need.
- Think of a group that provides a service to the community (e.g. paramedics) and surprise them with a basket of goodies.
- Volunteer your help, or contribute clothes, toys or other goods at an op shop.
- Make welcome cards for each person baptised in your congregation.
- Adopt and clean up a park, a busy roadside or beach.
- Offer to help an elderly person with their garden on a regular basis.
- Visit a seniors’ home and sing songs or deliver cards to the residents.
- Send cards to people on the church prayer list.
by Rachel Schilling
This article featured in Grow Together Edition 3, 2018.
Grow Together, is a quarterly printed newsletter and resource aimed to help equip parents and families with inspiration to take up their spiritual role as parents, grandparents and carers.
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