Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making the Most of Serving with Your Kids

A word of warning up front—most of this post will be plagiarized.  I read a great book this year called “Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in your Kids” by Kara Powell and Chap Clark.  It had lots of great ideas about helping our kids to own their faith before they left our nest.  There was a chapter on serving with kids/students that just resonated with me.  I may have re-worded a few things, but here is what the book said about making the most out of a serving experience with your child:

Frame it Beforehand
·         Lay the foundation of the service (Why are you doing it)
·         Talk about who they are serving
·         Ask your kids to put themselves in the place of the people being served: how do they think the homeless person they are feeding will feel?  What kinds of things would make a kid feel welcome in small group?

Process it During
·         What was your favorite part?
·         What was the hardest part?
·         What did you do well?
·         What mistakes did you make?
·         How did you see God at work?
·         How did you see others being used by God?
·         What new questions does this raise for you?

Debrief it After
·         How did God work through you?  What does that say about how God might want to work through you in your daily life?
·         How has your experience shaped your view of service and justice?  What difference might that make now?
·         What have you learned about people who are poor or different from you?  How do you want that to shape you?
·         What ideas do you have to help this be more than just a onetime experience and instead be something that impacts your life?

Ongoing Transformation
As parents, intentionally seek out ways to connect the dots from the service experience to their daily lives (i.e. having lunch with a homeless man and having lunch with a new kid at their school).  “Justice work is more likely to stick when it’s not an event, but a process.”

I haven’t implemented all of these, but I’m working on a few of them every time I serve with my girls.  It’s tricky—if they feel like I’m evaluating them or making it an object lesson,  then the experience loses its joy and becomes work.  Feel free to change up the questions to fit your family—make it work for you.  I'm finding that the more I do it, the easier it is for questions to come to mind and I don't have to look at my cheat sheet.  

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