this summer, while your afternoons are full of sunshine, slurpees and slip-and-slides, consider those who do not have the luxury of a day to play. turn your faith into action by bringing the joy of the Lord to those in your area through heartfelt service and outreach!
you see, God calls us to spill over into the world we live in.
He fills us to the brim and we are not meant to keep that joy to ourselves; we are to pour it out for those around us. though you could travel the world and spend weeks on a mission, you can still make an impact in your own neighborhood.. even in your own home. try one of these simple ministry ideas and get your serve on this summer
1. make goodie bags for the local shelter
fill buckets and bags with bubbles, healthy snacks, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, sidewalk chalk and anything else you can think of. deliver to the shelter in your area with a sweet message or mixed CD for children. encourage love, smiles and happiness. if you have the time and they welcome the offer, stay and play with the children!!
2. take care packages to local orphanages
orphaned children are in dire need of the reminder that they are known, special and sought out. during the time they are waiting for a family to receive them, they will benefit greatly from personal objects and items they can call their own. something as simple as a blanket, throw pillow, bag or journal can supplement the existing efforts of the organization to remind them that they are cared for and loved. pack a bag with a few small items and personal notes. contact a church that already participates in such service, if your church does not. give the gift of hope and serve those the Lord calls us to reach out to, cheerfully.
3. reach out to a neighbor
whether it’s a busy family, an elderly couple, or a young adult, find a way to bring a boost to their day. you could deliver coffee to the mother who stays home, offer to weed the garden or walk the dog of a family who is gone all day, or go crazy and drop a goodie bag of light snacks and citronella candles for a spontaneous outdoor evening picnic!
4. be a sort of neighborhood watch
if you see stray animals, faulty sprinkler systems, damaged property etc.., contact your neighborhood association. so often we may think they can see everything but there is a great possibility they will benefit from an extra pair of eyes and be grateful for the community pride! simple actions can lead to great resolve and you never know what you may help your community complete just by being aware of what it needs.
5. leave anonymous gift cards
if you are stopping for a treat for yourself, consider leaving one for the next person. whether in the drive through or at the counter, gift cards are too easy to pick up anymore. simply load it and instruct the cashier to give it to a random person. imagine the delight on a stranger’s face when they walk up to learn their coffee/pastry is paid for. plus, you are helping the cashier do a service, too!
6. share smiles, greetings, and courteous actions
do not underestimate the power of a happy face. i can have the worst day, all day, and still find myself smiling at a stranger. it’s not that they are more important, but that they may be going through something of their own. it may be that they need the reminder that people are still decent. it may be the smile that saves someone. say hello, hold the door, tell a mom that she is doing a great job. leave no person unnoticed and praise God for each of their hearts.
are you starting to see a pattern?
be spontaneous, be creative and be fast! if you think about it too much, you will lose it. instead of taking the time to think someone will consider you crazy, take the time to act and let them consider themselves blessed to have been in the right place at the right time.
God loves a cheerful giver. this summer, even as you are carpooling and working and running errands, be grateful for the freedom to do those things and be full of joy as you show another person that they are special and loved.
if you end up doing any kind of mini summer ministry, please let us know!
comment here and tell us what you did.
bless your heart to be obedient to God’s great call to pour out this summer.
© 2013 – 2014, Kristin Cho. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.