From an early age I have been trying to get my kids involved in helping those less fortunate then they are. Every year at Christmas we select a Christmas Angel from the Salvation Army to shop for, year round we sponsor a child from Compassion International. we volunteer at local animal and homeless shelters, and we volunteer at battered women and children's shelters as well. I do this to because I have a desire for my children to "be the light of the world" Matthew 5:14
Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Here are a few suggestions that my family really enjoys doing that can help get you started on being the Salt and Light of the Earth.
1. Gathering seasonal clothes-The numbers are staggering for home many homeless children their are. As your kids outgrow their clothes take this time to donate them to local family shelters or half way homes that take children. They are always in need of blankets, coats, shoes, undergarments and the like that are in good condition. Do this a few times a year when you know your kids are going to want new clothes. My kids know if they want to shop for new clothes they first must gather all their old clothes so we can donate them.
2. Bibles-Teach your kids to share the gospel from a young age Have them take their unwanted bibles that are in good condition and share the message of Christ with the homeless youth. As our kids grow from one type of bible to another-donate it. Before they donate it though have them write a special message to the new recipient on the inside with their favorite bible verse and how it has impacted them.
3. Gospel Tracks- Missionary work is very important and sharing the love of Christ to those in need. Have your kids get involved in an organization handing out gospel tracks. As they become more comfortable approaching people and giving the tracks take it to the next level and have them ask if they can pray for the person they are giving the track to. When they are comfortable doing that have your kids learn to talk to the receiver about accepting Christ. To open the track and go over it with them before praying. This is a great way for your kids to take baby steps in spreading the word of God.Tracks are cheap to buy and you can hand them out anywhere. We have handed out tracks at ComicCon,State Fair of Texas, Concerts, Plays, Parades, the options are endless. Grab a group or do it as a family.
4. Make Blankets-Tie blankets are pretty simple blanket that kids of all ages can help make and then distribute. Have each family member pray over each blanket before you donate them.
5. Bake some goodies-Make some non-bake cookies, cupcakes, cakes, or any other goodie you can think of and donate them during lunch, dinner or if you prefer to make breakfast goodies bring them before you start your morning and make someones day.
What ways do you and your family spread the gospel message? Do you have any traditions for furthering your children's faith?