Nothing says summertime like family—vacations, activities and theme park visits. With families going in a variety of directions, one church sought to bring the family together to help others—and it was simple! Meet Amanda Box, Children’s Minister at Meadowbrook Church of Christ in Jackson, Miss.
Meadowbrook’s student ministry was preparing to attend and serve with Memphis Work Camp during the first week of June. Students go and serve families that need their homes painted and yard work done. Amanda decided she wanted to create an opportunity for their children (three years through fifth grade) to learn about how they can serve others and their Junior Work Camp was born.
On the Friday night and Saturday before the students left, families met together at the church. During their time, they revisited October’s virtue of Initiative—seeing what needs to be done and doing it—and were reminded about Nehemiah building the wall. They worshiped together and then got to work!
- They built birdhouses to go in the yards of each home that was worked on by the students (a volunteer had started the birdhouse kits for each family to complete).
- They created care packages for the students in drawstring backpacks with ChapStick, water, etc.
- They tie-died T-shirts for the students to wear and then wrote notes of encouragement that were included with each T-shirt.
- They decorated wooden picture frames for themselves and got a picture of them at their own work camp.
The Sunday after Junior Work Camp and before the Memphis Work Camp departure, children “passed the baton” to the students during their worship service. The stage was filled with kids, hard hats, birdhouses, and ended with a time of prayer over the students as they prepared to go and serve.
The following week, parents were excited as their kids reenacted and retold the story of Nehemiah all throughout the next week. One dad said his son tracked each step of the students during their work camp to know how and when they would be using the items he had helped create.
I loved Amanda’s excitement and urgency with this statement that she lives by in her children’s ministry:
“Kids need to know they have an important part in God’s story right this second!”