Key #3: Family Acts of Service

Serving others reminds us of  that our faith is personal…but not private. Service as a family helps children see their parent’s capability, faith and values in action.  When we reach out to the needs of others and show care and compassion we can be the feet and hands of Christ, just as he demonstrated to us so many times.

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

  • Love your neighbors: Choose a neighbor to bless – do a surprise yard clean-up, make a meal, drop off some cookies.
  • Thank a “Servant”: Take time to write a thank you note, sharing your gratitude for what they do to help make life safer or easier.
  • Bless a Congregant: Make and send cards to people on the church prayer list.

“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)


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