34 Ways Children Can Serve

This article by Tonya W. Heartsill was originally published in the Spring 2010 issue of Missions Leader. It is used here with permission.

Use these 34 ideas to help your children’s group get busy and share the love of Christ with others: 

  1. Collect old cellular phones and ink jet printer cartridges. Recycle the phones and cartridges. Donate the money you are reimbursed to missions. (See www.phoneraiser.com for more information.)
  2. Purchase a gift from Heifer International to help families around the world become self-reliant. (See www.heifer.org for more information.)
  3. Plant individual flowering plants in pots. Deliver them to a long-term care facility for senior adults.*
  4. Use fabric paint to decorate new pillowcases. Include encouraging Bible verses and bright pictures. Deliver or mail the pillowcases to a children’s hospital.*
  5. Provide free babysitting for local families. Plan games, crafts, and a special snack for children who attend.
  6. Lead children to prepare muffins and fruit cups. Deliver them to a local school for teachers to enjoy.
  7. Offer free windshield washes at a gas station.*
  8. Collect bottles of shampoo and soap to donate to a women’s shelter.*
  9. Collect and sort children’s clothes. Donate them to a children’s home.
  10. Make cards to be sent overseas to military personnel who need a word of encouragement.
  11. Assign each child a country to research. Have children decorate 11-by-17-inch sheets of construction paper to represent their assigned countries. Cover the construction paper with clear contact paper. Use the artwork as place mats at Wednesday night dinner tables.
  12. Have children meet together to send out post cards and emails and make phone calls to individuals and families who have recently visited your church.
  13. Collect new board games and puzzles to send to missionary kids (MKs) who are serving with their parents.
  14. Collect new and gently used children’s shoes that can be sent to children in need. (See www.soles4souls.org for more information.)
  15. Collect children’s animated movies. Mail to them to MKs.
  16. Teach children how to pray for missionaries.
  17. Incorporate a missions lesson into an after-church children’s event.
  18. Are there college students in your church that have been on mission trips? If so, invite them to share their mission experience with GAs and Children in Action.  
  19. Use a witnessing how-to booklet to train children to share their faith. Have children practice sharing their faith with one another.
  20. Distribute free bottles of water at a local park or sporting event. Design a label with information about your church and an invitation to come and worship to attach to each bottle.
  21. Lead children to create door-hanger invitations to attend your worship services. Use foam door hangers from your local craft store. Allow the children to decorate the invitations using markers, stickers, glitter, and glue. Be sure they include times of worship on the door hanger. When the hangers are finished, hang them on doorknobs of neighborhood houses or in a multihousing complex.
  22. Pick up trash at a local park or schoolyard. Be sure to have plenty of gloves and trash bags on hand!
  23. Fill a cooler with canned soft drinks. Hand them out to men and women who are working outdoors. Invite the workers to attend your next worship service.
  24. Take donuts to your local police station or fire station. Encourage the men and women who are working there to attend worship services when their schedule allows.
  25. Put together a special craft or toy box with small children’s gifts and games for your church’s next missions trip. Trip participants can distribute the goodies when they reach their destination. Search Web sites for craft ideas with supplies and directions that can be stored in zipper storage bags and distributed.
  26. Have children distribute a daisy or carnation with a Scripture verse attached to everyone who enters a supermarket or discount store.
  27. Collect gently used children’s picture and chapter books. Design a label with a Bible verse to put on the inside cover of each book. Donate the books to a preschool, after-school program, or Boys & Girls Club.
  28. Create a missions giving jar out of an old coffee can. Have kids cut pictures from old missions and travel magazines. Use a clear-drying decoupage lacquer to decoupage the pictures onto the can. Cut a slit in the top of the can using a craft knife. Encourage children to save their change for missions.
  29. Use an audio recorder to record children reading the Bible aloud. Include their thoughts about what the verses mean to them. Share the recordings with senior adults in your church who may have trouble seeing the print in their Bibles.
  30. Collect money to provide a new pillow or bed for an orphan. Visit www.sweetsleep.org to find out how to give an orphan a night of sweet dreams.
  31. Lead children to cut out photographs of missionaries from missions magazines. Cover the cut outs with clear contact paper, and add a magnet to the back. Encourage the children to put the magnet on their refrigerator to remember to pray for the missionary each day.
  32. Hold a free yard sale for expectant mothers. Collect baby clothes and toys. Have children help you sort the clothes by size and make sure all the toys are clean. Contact your local pregnancy support organization or Christian Women’s Job Corps to find mothers who are in need.
  33. During a church business meeting, while the adults are busy making plans, guide the children to bake cookies for area business owners. Call it “Love Your Community” night. Your business meetings will have a very sweet smell!
  34. Bring a bit of springtime indoors for senior adults in a long-term care facility. Have Girls in Action and Children in Action decorate grapevine wreaths with artificial springtime flowers and ribbon. Deliver the wreaths to nursing homes to be hung on patients’ doors.

After you’re finished, check out the WMU Foundation’s give34 campaign


*Be sure to call ahead and ask permission to do this activity. Always obtain written parental permission to take children off church property. Use only drivers approved by your church’s insurance policy.

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