Last Sunday, I was thrilled to see all four of Jarud & Abbie Griffith’s children standing at the auditorium doors passing out Sunday morning handouts. Eli and Chloe had volunteered to do that job in their involvement surveys, and then Luke and Titus asked the Sunday Handouts ministry leader, Richie Winegeart, if they could help, too.
Seeing them serving in that way was so encouraging and reminded me that one of the best ways to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6) is for parents to find ways to serve together as a family.
There are several ministries at Northside where parents and children can volunteer as a family. They can work together digging up weeds and trimming bushes when Jesse Neisler schedules a landscaping workday. Families can get creative together to decorate a vehicle and dress up in costumes to hand out candy to little members of the community at our annual Trunk-or-Treat event. Parents and teens can work together for a week “Serving God by Serving People” during Wichita WorkCamp. Younger kids can also get involved helping deliver popsicles to the hot, tired workers. The youth group frequently does yardwork and other service projects for our older members, and many parents also volunteer to help with those activities. Our recently-revamped Senior Member Support ministry offers many ways for parents and children to serve together making visits, sending cards, or helping senior saints with yardwork or other needed projects. Working together to assemble and deliver Holiday Baskets right before Christmas is an activity families have enjoyed for more than 60 years at Northside!
There are also lots of ways parents and children can serve together that don’t involve official Northside ministries. How about sending cards, making visits, helping older members with home projects, or making and delivering a meal to someone dealing with a health issue?
Parents, your most important job is to nurture and raise up your children in the Lord. One important part of that responsibility is to help them learn how to “use their gifts to serve others” (1 Peter 4:10).