Serving with Your Kids

Written by Chris Griffin

I really love what God does through our church family in our Kingdom Builders projects each year. I’m sure you expect me to write something like that, since I’m a pastor at Allison Park Church. =)  But over the past few years, I’ve really come to love Kingdom Builders from the perspective as a Dad.

There have been a couple things that, my wife, Kate and I have done intentionally over the past 12 months to intentionally engage our 8-year old and 5-year old with missions and serving. Here are a few:

The Daughter Project – For the Christmas holiday, we held a special offering to give towards our strategic anti-human trafficking partner in India.  I asked my kids if they wanted to participate. Of course I didn’t go into great detail about what human trafficking is, but I simply told my kids that we wanted to give money to help kids get back together with their parents or to help them find a safe place to go.  My son unloaded his piggy-bank and didn’t go for the pennies or nickels; he went for the dollar bills – ten of them, to be exact. And his sister matched him. It was a beautiful moment.

Clean Water for Africa – Last month, for Kidz Kaboom, the annual penny weigh battle between the boys and girls was designated towards clean water. And again, my kids were passionate about this cause; taking from their own money and tasking Dad to go up to PNC Bank to get them a brick of pennies.

Toys to Madagascar – I was a part of the team that went to Madagascar for the SOS Signs & Wonders Festival in June.  Each team member was encouraged to bring various donated items with them, to bless the locals there in Madagascar.  For weeks before I left, my kids were talking constantly about which toys of theirs they were “going to give to the kids in Africa” to play with. Again, it touched my heart so much that they were so willing to give and to participate.

Serve Day – Finally, we come to this month (July) and for a second year in a row, my kids were active participants in Serve Day with the Rise Against Hunger project to package thousands of meals for some of the world’s hungriest nations.  For weeks, they had been looking forward to this project.  At one point in the morning, my 5-year old son told me “Dad, I am getting a little tired.” He went and sat down for a little bit, played with his Lego Batman guy, then after he had his rest, he was back at it, once again carrying the finished food packages to the shipping table we had set up.

It’s so healthy for their hearts to be trained and encouraged to serve and to give.  I can’t wait until our younger two kids (age 1 & 3) are old enough to start to understand and participate in the same way. As we wrap up this post, let me ask you:  How can you engage your family in some aspect of Kingdom Builders? Let the Holy Spirit guide you and give you some ideas…..

Chris Griffin grew up at Allison Park Church since he was 7 years old and has served on our staff since 2000. Chris graduated Geneva College with a degree in Organizational Development and is Ordained with the Assemblies of God. Chris is happily married to Kate with 4 kids; their whole family bleeds black and gold.