Key #3: Family Acts of Service

playgroundAt Calvary we celebrate our multicultural, intergenerational faith family. You will see children serving alongside adults, serving in worship and in the community. We affirm children as full members of the family of faith. We love getting to know your children on Sunday mornings, but we also know that you are with them other 167 hours during the week. We want to put information and resources into your hands so that you can grow faith at home. An in the formation of faith, service plays a particularly important function.  As a visible expression of Christian love and belief, service puts “wheels on faith”, bringing it into the arena of daily life and connecting Christian proclamation with tangible situations and practices.  It shows how faith makes a difference in the world and bears Christ into the hurts, hopes and struggles of day to day existence.

Many Christian adults can recall quite clearly childhood experiences of service which functioned as “real life sermons” on the nature of God’s love and Christian living. Indeed, the Search Institute ( link)  research has found that adults who are higher in faith maturity are more likely to have been involved in faith-related service as children and teenagers, and that such involvement is a better predictor of adult faith maturity than child/youth participation in Sunday school, Bible study or even worship services. What we hear is often lost to memory, but what we do in serving others is often life-shaping and faith-shaping.

servingWhile children and young people can participate in and experience service in a whole range of contexts – e.g. as individuals, at school, at youth group or Sunday school, in the congregation – family service has particular power and significance.

  • Adopt” an elderly member of the congregation to visit and to have to your home.
  • Together as a family, buy groceries for a food pantry supporting the needy.
  • Plan “hospitality nights” when you can have another family around for dinner.
  • Go on a walk to collect stray rubbish in your neighbourhood.
  • Sponsor a child through World Vision or a similar organization.
  • Make get-well cards to send to sick people in the congregation or community.
  • Volunteer to help take care of an elderly person’s garden.