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Involving Children in Outreach

Children's Ministry Magazine

Children can be involved in ministry to their neighborhoods. The eight ideas below connect church children with their neighborhood peers.

Host a neighborhood yard sale. Have church children don ate toys, clothing and household articles. Spend all the proceeds on community outreach projects, such as putting in a basketball court.

Offer after-school or evening child care to neighborhood parents. This could be a weekly or monthly event. Use church teenagers and older children as helpers. Many parents will take advantage of such a service, especially around holidays.

Develop a "little brother, little sister" program. Team church children and neighborhood children together. Or put church families with neighborhood families. Encourage monthly activities together.

Hold a monthly birthday party. Invite the whole neighborhood and celebrate that month's birthday children. Provide cake and ice cream and a small gift for each birthday child. Play games and sing songs.

Give away your Christmas tree. Buy a fresh tree for your church and have children decorate it. About a week before Christmas, give it away to a family without a tree. Give out cookies and sing a few Christmas carols. Be sure to let your congregation know what happened to the tree.

Set up a video lending library. Encourage church members to donate or purchase movies portraying positive Christian values. Make them available for loan to church or neighborhood families. Require a small deposit, then refund it upon return of the tape.

Provide free ice water or soft drinks at area functions (county fairs, parades, yard sales). Have the children prepare and serve it.

Hold a Neighborhood Labor Day. Arrange in advance for small groups of children (with one adult per group) to walk through the neighborhood and pick up trash. You can also offer to help elderly people rake lawns or plant gardens.

From Children's Ministry Guide for Smaller Churches (Group Publishing, Inc.)

Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and prices are subject to change.

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