The principle of the Great Commission is this; “as you go into your world, make disciples.” For young moms, “your world” may be primarily your home. It may also include ministry opportunities in your neighborhood, the park and the grocery store. The goal here is to think about where you are going and how you can make disciples of your children as you go in the same manner that Jesus did with His disciples.
Alicia Byars, a young mom of four children says this, “It’s about being able and willing to set aside our schedule and convenience to help other people, but not forgetting that happy babies in households hoping to remain somewhat peaceful can’t regularly miss their naps! Stay in balance. You want to be flexible, but also intentional. Put ministry/visiting appointments in your calendar. It might not always happen. You might have to reschedule, but it will stay on your radar and not get lost in the busyness of life.”
Below are some practical possibilities from Disciple Like Jesus and Alicia about ministering to others with young children. Be ready to tell others and your children why you love the Lord.
10. Meals and ministry for sick friends or neighbors. You could fold the laundry or do other household chores for them. Tell your children about your sick friend and allow them to help prepare the care package for your friend. Allow your children to help deliver the meal and card, etc. If you are allowed to visit, pray for them but be brief.
9. Cookies and tracts to service people, bagboys and cashiers. When you fix or buy a batch of cookies for your family, include some extras for service people, neighbors, etc. Keep a supply of inexpensive tracts on hand to include with your gift to service people. Let your child give the tracts.
8. Flowers from the garden for hospital or home visits. We have beautiful wildflowers that grow in a natural area in our back yard. Several years ago we scattered some seed and now every spring we enjoy their color, fragrance and the butterflies that they attract. These wildflowers make great gifts for others and they are free for the picking.
7. Throw a tea party for relative or elderly neighbor. Invite a relative to your home, or if you are welcome in their home take the party to them. You can offer different kinds of tea or simply one kind, along with cookies, sconces, etc.
6. Make hand-written get well cards or birthday cards from the children. Help your children pick out a scripture to include and a picture to draw or paste on their cards. Contact a local children’s home and ask if you can handle birthday cards for the children there each month. After your children make these cards, you could include a small cash gift. If it is not possible to personally visit a sick friend, scan a hand-written card and send it by email. Allow a child to click on the send button, and then read the responses together when they arrive.
5. Think about your family. Do you have any older relatives that need ministry? 1 Timothy 5:8 reminds us “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Providing for an older relative can simply mean being there for them. Most of them would love to be ministered to by young families. Are any in a retirement home? These relatives are starving for attention, and there are many other residents in retirement homes that would love to receive cards and visits from moms and little children. If you take your Bible and a hymnal along you can read to them and sing hymns together and they will love it!
4. Sponsor a missionary or child in a foreign country. Make this a family project. Many will allow you to select a child from their photo; look through the photos with your children. Pray for these children that the Lord would lead you to the one to support. Select one and keep their photo in a prominent place where your family can pray for them. You can also teach children to sacrifice something by giving a small amount toward the support. Your children could include some allowance money to help and could write a note to the recipient. If you receive a card from your sponsored child, read it aloud and have your children write back to them.
3. Invite children from the neighborhood for a Bible video, a backyard Bible club or other activities. Your children can make hand-written invitations, or you can do the writing and they can draw a picture. Once you have designed one invitation it can be easily be duplicated in a copier. Be sure that parents know what the activity will be.
2. Bake a birthday cake for a relative or neighbor. Keep a supply of inexpensive candles, and two or three will suffice on a cake. Deliver the cake or have them over to your home and sing happy birthday to them and pray for them. After you teach your children to pray, ask your children to pray for this neighbor.
1. Invite neighbors over for dinner, a game and family devotions. Hospitality is an excellent and fun way to minister to others. You can play a board game with teams of parents and children, or go to the park or play outdoors. Keep the devotions short for the short attention spans of little ones. Sing “Jesus loves me,” other familiar songs or hymns, etc. Ask for prayer requests and lead both families in prayer. Including other families in your family devotions can help other believing families to begin doing the same and can minister to the needs of the hurting.
Explain to your children why you are doing these things, and how Jesus ministered to others with His disciples. Jesus commanded you to make disciples and to be “salt and light” to a lost world. Jesus was “salt and light” to the world with His disciples. So can you!
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