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Family-friendly mission projects for Sunday school, home and special events.

This topic is collecting your creative ideas for teaching with mission in Sunday School. (Be sure to check for ideas and lessons related to specific Bible stories in our Bible Story lesson forums.)

Remember that the key to a good lesson is that the chosen action or practice should come from the rotation's Bible story itself, and not be a tangential activity with a marginal connection to the assigned story. See the article "The Mission Workshop" for more insight on how to teach with mission projects.

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Here are some useful lists of service projects that even young children can participate in:Monthly Service Projects for Families Square

A Year's Worth of Monthly Service Projects for Families

12 months of family service projects

It's COOL to Care for Others During Hot Summer Months!

Fishes and Loaves Service Project from Deeper Kidmin - the children prepare meals for families in need of a hand

And a thoughtful blog on Teaching Kids to Love. It is directed to parents, but has some great points that apply in the classroom, too.

"Let your neighbors know that you love them in appropriate ways (aka: don’t be weird). No one likes to be thought of as a project, but everyone wants to be seen, known, loved, and respected. As you look for opportunities to demonstrate genuine and authentic love to others, model these moments for your children. Identify ways your family could show love and care to someone in a way that he or she would feel seen, known, and authentically loved."


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Last edited by Amy Crane

Our Sunday School had been very intentional in involving the students in hands-on mission projects, so that it was more than just dropping some money into the offering basket and moving on. I looked back at our lessons to see what some of these projects were (and how they related to the Bible story that we were studying).  Some of these projects are related to Lutheran service organizations--I would imagine that other denominations have something similar.  I'll list the story--the mission project--and how it relates

  • The 10 Lepers--creating "Cards of Hope" for Phil's Friends (this is a Christian organization that ministers to cancer patients providing care packages/cards/prayers)--reaching out to the sick just as Jesus did
  • One summer we did a "cruise" focusing on Paul's Journeys; one of the stops was Macedonia (2 Corinthians 8) whom Paul commended for their outpouring of generosity to those in need far away--a lady at our church sent care packages to soldiers stationed overseas, so we helped put those together--sharing generously with others
  • Esther--we put together hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief--Purim involves acts of generosity
  • Widow's Mites--we had three different outreach projects that our church was involved in at the time so we did a sort of penny (mites) raffle--we talked about the various projects and then gave each student 10 raffle tickets/mites; they could drop these into the buckets for the different projects (put them all in one or spread them out). All of the projects got funded but the voting helped determine which ones got more funding--it was a way for them to drop their mites into the offering box
  • Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet at the Last Supper--we put together foot care packages for the local homeless shelter (which was housed at our church on Friday nights).
  • Mary/Christmas--we made no-sew baby receiving blankets for a local organization--caring for baby Jesus/all babies
  • Ruth--we put together dried bean soup jars for a local food pantry--the tie in was Ruth gleaning for grain so that she and Naomi wouldn't go hungry

More mission and service project ideas for children and families and churches can be found in this topic: Missions, Missionaries, Service projects, including many that would be appropriate for a Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.



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Here is a great blog post from Laurie's Little Monkeys with some good suggestions for service projects that children can actually do (rather than collecting food, toys, whatever...).

There are suggestions for animals (have someone from the animal shelter visit church and talk about animal care, then make dog treats or toys -- great for a creation stewardship mission workshop), caring for shut-ins and people in hospitals, projects to recognize community helpers, and more.


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Our new Writing Team lesson set on the Good Samaritan includes a variety of suggested service and outreach projects. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a story that calls for action. One of the objectives of this lesson set is for the students to be able to identify persons "in need" within the their world (their "Jericho road") and think of actions they could take to show compassion and mercy to that person.


Because churches have different opportunities for "Samaritan activities" in their communities, we have created a collection of outreach suggestions with creative ideas for conducting them that you can adapt to your resources and the needs of your community. Supporting Members can access this lesson here.

Some service project format ideas to consider:

  • Choose a service activity or project to use as a weekly mission workshop during your Good Samaritan rotation for each group to rotate to.
  • Schedule one special Sunday for kids to get involved in being good Samaritans with the rest of the congregation. Check out the post from Beth Tobin for inspiration.
  • Encourage each family to choose their own community service project and have them take pictures to share on your church's social media with a hashtag such as #OurChurchGoesAndDoesLikewise or #ProjectGoodSamaritan or #NationalDayofService (be sure to tag, too, so we can see what you are doing!).
  • What would you add?

Not a Supporting Member? Take a look at the lesson summaries for the Good Samaritan lesson set. You get those lessons and so much more for $45! Join today!


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