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Serving in Mission

Encourage the broad spectrum of ages
to be involved in mission …

For too long children have been seen as objects of the mission rather than active participants in the mission. Children are not simply to be seen as jugs to be filled with information but rather as whole people of God who can actively contribute to the mission of God.

When any person has to give an account of the hope that is within them this causes their faith to grow deeper. This is true for all ages. Where are the opportunities for your children and young people to be able to give out as well as taking in as they continue to grow in their journey with Jesus?

When all ages can serve in the mission this has benefits on many levels – strengthening the household of faith as well as spiritual life of each member of the family. Sending teams to overseas mission feels has been a long held strategy of local church communities. However, very few of these include all ages. Imagine the impact on a person’s faith having served on a mission team in a developing country. But you do not need to go overseas to be involve in a mission project. There are needs all around us if we have eyes to see and if we are prepared to take a few risks.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:15-16

Principles and practical ideas to inspire you as you implement this formational experience into your long term plan …

Principle

We need to encourage the board spectrum of ages to be involved in mission. We need to encourage families to serve together. This provides all ages to use their gifts, to put their faith into action and to see the power of God firsthand. This can be overseas or in or local communities, the need is great. We are all called in deed and in word to share God’s love. There is no age limit on this.

Why is SERVING IN MISSION so important in the faith formation process? Here are 3 reasons….
1 Jesus commands us to serve as we are going
2 We learn best by doing
3 Shared experiences bond and deepen relationships
Watch this short video for a brief explanation...

Top 10 reasons why…

1.Everyone wants to be part of something.

2.Service is a response to our worship.

3.The need to serve is all around us in the everyday – clean up Australia day, hampers for needy families, collecting for community centres, cook a meal, sit with a friend, etc.

4.It can empower a generation to BE the change.

5.It normalises serving if you do it young, otherwise, we can dry up and become “self-centered” and materialistic.

6.It is a catalyst that grows us spiritually and exponentially. (Diana Garland research)

7.You experience God in a whole new way when you work with HIM.

8.It causes people to think about what they really believe and value.

9.It connects us to the people Jesus loves.

10.It breaks into the false reality of affluence and entitlement for us all and confronts us with sin and brokenness.

Practical ideas

Serving in your local community

(Remember to include all ages in the process)
  1. Visit your local Aged Care facility. Before the visit, discuss within your family or group some ideas of what serving may look like. Request ideas from the staff at the centre. These could include: give a concert, massage hands, paint nails, etc.
  2. Meal hampers delivered to families in the community by families in the faith community.
  3. High school kids teaching RE to primary school kids.

Serving in the wider community

(Remember to include all ages in the process)
  1. Take a team of young people or family groups to serve the needs of rural churches in need of encouragement. This could include indigenous communities, refugees, country towns.
  2. Remember to include all ages in the planning process.

Serving in the global community

  1. Overseas mission trips that involve not only adults but include youth children and/or families.
  2. Remember to include all ages in the planning process.

Influencing church leadership

  1. Encourage your church leadership to ‘champion’ opportunities for all ages to serve, so that children and young people feel welcome and valued.
  2. Great Article on many practical ways for children to serve in Church. Link

Projects supporting mission

  1. All ages can sell things they have made at church to fund a mission vision they may have.
  2. “Coins 4 Kids” Bucket. Children bring an offering and place in ‘their’ bucket. Invite the children to have input into how the finance is dispersed at the end of the quarter.

Empowering others

  1. Empowering all ages to ask God what he is challenging us to do, support each other in that project.
  2. Before running ahead with your idea, present a community need to your community of faith (home/church) and ask the question of all ages, ”What do you think we can do?”
  3. All ages involved in telling the stories of their mission involvement.

Links to Excellent Resources this Pillar:

An introduction + 2 foundational principles

8 formational pillars