How To Change the World with Your Children

By June 29, 2011Get Inspired

impress them on your children

(A note from Kat: This is a guest post from my friend Amanda. She inspires me like no one else when it comes to being intentional about teaching my children God’s word and how to live it out. She blogs at Impress Your Kids. Aren’t her kids (above) adorable?!)

Raising World Changers

God has commanded us to impress God’s Word on our children’s hearts. And every day I work at impressing scripture like, “Children obey your parents in the Lord.” and “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” These are the easy ones because the kids seem to forget them at every turn!

But the other scriptures I want my kids to learn are “Blessed is the one who considers the poor…the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land…” (Psalm 41:1-2) and Matthew 25:34-40:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'”Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Yikes! These are much harder–even for adults to swallow. Just as I want to train my kids in church attendance, kindness and obedience, I need to train them in giving to the needy, loving the unlovely, being unattached to riches so it will become the norm and a pattern in their life!

How can a child give? How can a child volunteer? How can a child do something big for someone in need? With a parent leading them and helping them to do something hard, of course!

My daughter spent last summer collecting shoes. Like old, stinky, found-in-the-bottom-of-the-closet-shoes. She was only 4 but I thought it would be a good idea for her to join aร‚ย  challenge from Clubhouse Jr to collect shoes for kids in Haiti.

shoes 2 share

We made flyers asking for shoes, stapled them to trashbags, delivered them to every mailbox in the neighborhood. Then collected the bags, sorted the shoes, boxed them up, counted them and mailed them. It took a long time. My little girl was hot, tired and absolutely GIDDY!

She had so much fun working that hard. It was the highlight of our summer! And it was really hard. Hard for her and for me! But I wanted her even at 4 years old to know what it was like to work for God. I wanted her to know the commitment of doing something God asks. I hoped she would feel the connectedness of God’s family as she worked for Him. And I wanted her to know that the world does not revolve around her. I pray she saw others needs as more important than her comfort.

Here are some suggestions for helping your kids give and love the needy:

compassion international

1. Sell Something. Fix up a lemonade stand, a yard sale, a bake sale and give all the proceeds to a ministry. Do your kids know how to knit? Is one an artist? Can they bake bread? If they can make something, set up a little shop online and let them raise money for an organization!

2. Collect something. Cans for recycling, shoes to donate, food for a foodbank, blankets and coats for the homeless. Find an organization that needs something and see how your child can fill the need!

operation christmas child

4. Give something. Make gift bags for babies in the NICU, shower kits for the homeless, back-to-school gifts for teachers, shoeboxes for Christmas or breakfast for fireman.

world vision bloggers

5. Sponsor a child. This may be one of the “easiest” and most significant ways to connect your child to someone in need. When you open up your wallet and give $38 a month to a child, you are opening up your home and your family to a new family member. You can make that child a part of your life by hanging up their pictures in prominent locations around the house, celebrating their birthday, writing monthly letters, sending gifts and praying for them daily. Your child will consider your sponsored child family–just wait and see!

Want more ideas? Visit Metropolitan Mama who volunteers with her 2 and 4 year old!

It might not seem like you’re doing much. A gift basket here, $16.42 donated there, a badly colored picture sent to a child in another country seems not-worth-it. But every little gift helps and encourages. And even more than that you are building a love of others in your children. You are showing your own children that their lives are meant for sharing and giving.

How can you and your kids give today?

Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor รขโ‚ฌ” overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!

Leave a Comment

Comments

28 Comments

  • This is just beautiful!!

    I have had the opportunity to see kids in action like this and it sure is inspiring! Our homeschool co-op collected change from around their houses and were able to raise $50 for a school in Ghana. Many children there are forced to be slaves in the fishing industry on Lake Volta and our own children rooted through couch cushions and raided piggy banks to collect funds! Precious!

    As a hard-core Compassion fan, number 5 is my favorite on the list. I can’t even explain all of the way being involved with Compassion has changed our children (as well as ourselves!!)

    • I love it, Michelle! What’s cool is that normally people wouldn’t even talk to kids about big things like slavery in Ghana. But on their level, kids get it. And they WANT to help! Kids are way more generous than adults! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so important we give them avenues to GIVE!

      a

  • jaimee says:

    This is indeed a very inspiring posts. I believe that every children is a blessing. However, it will be best that as kids, they would be able to learn the value of sharing and giving for this will somehow train them in becoming a better person in the near future.

  • […] asked if I would post about how my husband and I have been intentional in helping our kids serve and love others. We’re not experts and our kids aren’t super-heroes but we have worked hard at it. […]

  • Stacy says:

    This is a wonderful post Amanda! It’s amazing what a heart children have for helping others. I know I need to be more intentional about finding ways for my children to do this. They certainly have the desire.

    Thanks for the ideas (and motivation)!

  • Dixiemom7 says:

    This is such a great post! I get your “Impress Your kids” posts in my email, but had to follow you over here today. Love your ideas & would just add that you have your kids pray for the people they are “working” for. That way they are helped in the natural and the spiritual! (Trust me, kids love to pray!) I know you’re probably already doing this – just wanted to add some food for thought!
    Blessings.

    • {aww, thanks for letting me in your inbox!}

      Yes! Praying for them is awesome. Great point—it brings in the 3rd person in the story, huh? We’re not just joining 2 people or families together, we’re doing it to make God real in their lives!

      Thank you!

  • Erika says:

    LOVE this! My husband and I have talked a lot about this … how to teach this to our kids … and how we model it.

    I heard a great idea on the radio a year or so ago. I don’t remember the woman’s name, but she was talking about doing “Love drops” (or something like that), where she and her kids would get up in the middle of the night or super early in the morning and drop off a big bag of clothes or a basket of food anonymously to a family who was in need. Sometimes it was a family of one of the kids’ friends, sometimes not. They never wanted someone to feel ashamed at their need or in receiving gifts from friends, so they always did it anonymously, giving all glory to God. She said that she started this with her kids when they were still very young, and even as teenagers they did this together. Now that the kids are grown and beginning their own families, they have started doing the same thing with their kids!

  • wonderfully inspiring! great ideas that are simple to implement. what a nice surprise to see Amanda over here ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Great post, Amanda. Thanks for sharing such accessible ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am so excited to check out some of the websites & projects you discussed in this post.

  • Jen @ BigBinder says:

    Oh Amanda. I love this. In my heart of hearts it’s what I mean for my blog to be about – raising kids just like this. Not only CAN kids change the world, raising kids to do so is precisely what God is asking us to do and might very well be why He invented blogging ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also Kat- sorry this is my first time commenting. I love Inspired to Action!

    • I hear you! When I first started reading blogs, I told my husband, “I think God made blogs so his Word could spread!” I’m not kidding–I felt like it was an end-time miracle or something. *sigh* Anywhoo–you’re right our kids CAN change the world!

      ๐Ÿ™‚

      a

  • Mama Zen says:

    I’ve also found that kids readily take to the idea of stewardship and caring for creation.

  • Love this! I am working on a conference presentation on how to be a missional mom. I think it’s very important that we teach our kids how to open their eyes to see needs and also to think about what they could do to meet those needs. In a very materialistic, me-centered culture, it’s is imperative that we take a stand and show our kids that the world does not revolve around them.

  • Taylor says:

    Great post, Amanda! I love reading your blog and it’s really helped me in mothering our 2 little kids and our one on the way!

    We live in Sarajevo Bosnia where there are a lot of people on the streets begging. Specifically, there is a lady who sits right outside our doorstep every. single. day. Occasionally, we will pick up a piece of fruit or something from the corner market at the bottom of our hill on the way back home and my daughter (age 5) will give it to her. Another lady stands outside our local bakery, so on our way out of town last week we gave all our leftovers to her. She was so blessed. I’m hoping to do more things with my kids like this on a regular basis (packing sandwiches, snacks, etc) and letting them give to these ladies. One thing I feel like they need is dignity, as they are often overlooked. So we learn their names and say hello to them using their names.

    Thanks for all the ideas!

  • Bienvenido says:

    Great Amanda kid’s an do a lot of thing make the world change.i have little kids and every morning when she wake up and say Good Morning daddy can i have milk and i just close my eyes and say what a lovely daughter i have.i am very proud to my daughter.

  • What I love about this is the way that kids become so involved and get wrapped up in the task. It is a great way for them to learn that enjoyment and satisfaction can come from helping others.

  • Manal says:

    Thank you for sharing all this great ideas. The best thing is our kids get to relaize how blessed we are to have all things that we have. Count our blessings and share Gods love and grace with others.

  • […] How to Change the World : Inspired to Action – A guest post by Amanda from Impress Your Kids that shares many ways she and her children have served those around the world. […]

  • yvesleopoldgermaine says:

    At a very young age, your kids are already familiar with how the world works..
    You are honing them to be the best they can ever be…
    They are a good example of how children must be…

  • LaDonna says:

    Thanks for sharing. I want to get my children more involved in serving. These are great ideas.

  • three years ago we started a children’s mission program at our church. I direct kids k-5th in monthly mission service projects as part of Mission Possible Kids. we track lives touched and so far we have touched over 63,000 lives with their missions. Some of their most successful missions have been collecting food for the SOUPERBOWL of CARING, Trick or Treat for UNICEF and their favorite is the reverse trick or treat every year at sr. citizen’s home. This year we added a pre-school program (GLOW – Go Love others in the WORLD) where children as young as three years old can serve others through mission. They have already made toys for underprivileged children, made gifts for a habitat for humanity family and collected money for trick or treat for UNICEF. It’s an amazing program nationwide (www.missonpossiblekids.org) that kids can join to do the exact kind of things your family is doing along with their peers. I believe that we are raising kind, caring future leaders of the world. Maybe if we all take a little time to teach our children to care for those less fortunate and to reinforce gratefulness through service we can make a difference. Our montra is “We’re on a MISSION, let’s change the world!!”

  • […] Children Changing the World […]