If you’re leading a youth group, you can know how important it is to get your teens involved with your community. Not only will you be helping out those who need it most, but your teens will also receive the gift of learning what it is to give. Many teens only want to be entertained, but the Bible is very clear in that we are not to live selfishly, but live to serve others. Here are some ideas to get you started on coming up with a community service project for your entire youth group.
Start Within Your Own Church
Are there widows or elderly people in your congregation who could use a helping hand? Survey your church, asking your pastor and deacons if they know of any needs within the church. Then bring this information to your youth group and come up with a plan to help meet those needs.
If food is the need, figure out how to increase donations to your church’s food closet and then deliver food boxes to those in need. Maybe there are elderly people in your church who need help with tasks around the house. Create teams within your youth group and then head out to these homes and help rake leaves, do small household repairs, paint or even just assist with basic clean-up.
You may have single mothers or even large families that desperately need a baby-sitter to be able to have a special night or attend a college class. Or maybe they just need help with laundry, washing dishes or helping kids with their homework. These are all things that any teen can do and would be a tremendous help for the families receiving the help.
Soup Kitchens or Food Banks
Every city has a soup kitchen or food bank that is always looking for more volunteers. Your teens can volunteer to serve food to the area’s homeless. Or they can collect used clothing or solicit food donations to donate to the soup kitchen or food bank. If your teens have never volunteered at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, this could be an incredibly eye-opening experience for them. You can talk to your kids about what the Bible says about feeding the poor and clothing the needy or even create an entire Bible study around this and plan several days of volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food bank to go with the Bible study.
Some of your congregation’s elderly members may be living in nursing homes already. You can arrange for your youth group to visit the nursing homes and just spend time with the elderly there. They can talk with them, play games, read to them or plan other fun activities at the nursing home that can be done as a group. If you want to get creative, you can come up with a whole program filled with songs, short skits and fun giveaways and contests for the nursing home.