Vivian Roth and I presented this workshop at an ecumenical Family Ministry event held at First United, Waterloo. It flowed well and participants were enthusiastic. I still get comments about its value.
This workshop will enable participants to:
- experience a service project
- name the experience as Christian Service
- be affirmed and encouraged in continued Christian Service
Welcome (10 minutes)
Introduction of the workshop and workshop leaders.
E for Experience (30 minutes)
Play music. When music stops ask participants to find a partner. They will do one of the following with their partner.
- Introduce themselves, shake hands and tell their favorite way to help when he/she was a child.
- Introduce themselves and give their partner a shoulder rub.
- Introduce themselves and offer a cookie ( or other object) to their partner.
We used animal crackers. The shapes were a bit hard to identify. Mini chocolate bars or some other very small inexpensive item could be used instead.
Explain to the participants the significance of the cookies. Use a chart.
If you have a Lion cookie, today you are a preschooler
If you have a Dog cookie, today you are a school age child
If you have a Cat cookie, today you are a teen
If you have a Giraffe cookie, today you are a parent
If you have a Bear cookie, today you are a grandparent
Ask participants to form family groups with those who have different animal shapes. Each newly-formed family will be given a work card explaining their service project. The card will also have several questions to discuss when finished or as the project is being completed. Sample work cards are provided here.
I is for Identify (10 minutes) (2-3 minutes per group)
The participants will be asked to assemble as a large group. Each family group will briefly explain/show their service project and share answers to the work card questions.
A is for Analyze (5 minutes) (Chart answers)
- What were some of the common answers to the work card questions?
- What was the goal of the task? Did each group come up with the same goal?
- How did you feel doing the project? Identify any common feelings.
- How would you feel if you were to receive the project? Anything common?
G is for Generalize (25 minutes)
Split into groups of two or three and discuss the following questions. (Questions should be put on an index card or chart.)
Do we only serve in a church setting?
Do we only serve when told to serve?
What is the first memory you have of serving? Who was it with? Why do you still remember this?
How do we do Christian Service at home?
How can a person organize a family to do Christian Service?
In large group, share thoughts for each of the questions. Add the following ideas if needed.
I never thought that would be service.
Service is done cheerfully.
Service in our families is often a teaching moment. It is important to use the language of service. We can label it for them.
Service often happens spontaneously.
Service is seeing what needs to be done. It is doing without being asked.
Thought starter: Can the following be examples of Christian Service?
Using both sides of note paper. Recycle, reduce, reuse.
Prepare 3 sheets of chart paper each with one of the following headings: Christian Service: In our Daily Church Home, Christian Service: In our Sunday Church Home, Christian Service: Special/Community.
As a large group, make a list of things we can do in our lives that would be considered Christian Service. Have someone record answers to the brainstorming on the appropriate chart paper.
T is for Theologize (10 minutes)
What Bible stories do we know about serving? List on chart paper. Distribute hand-outs.
Closing (10 minutes)
Sing or read together Joyful, Joyful We Will Serve Thee.
Stahlheim, Marilyn and Alice Stolper Peppler. The Child in Our Hands Milestones: Intergenerational Enrichment. Minneapolis: Youth & Family Institute of Augsburg College, 1999, p. 113.
Leader: Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God