Have you ever thought about how to advance your ministry even more than it already is? Have you felt like there are many more opportunities that you are missing everyday? Check out these awesome ways of being involved in Missions and Ministry in 2014. These were sent to Riverwalk from the Southern Baptist Convention, and we wanted to be sure to share these with everyone. Please feel free to comment with any cool ideas, or thoughts in regards to these.
Let 2014 be the year you personally get involved in missions and ministry. Missions is what is done for/with/to people outside the local church family. Ministry is what is done to nurture, build up, and encourage the body of believers, most often within the local church walls.
Listed below are 114+ ways you can be the hands and feet of Christ in this coming year. By no means is it an exhaustive list. The ideas can be used by families, church missions groups, and individuals. Yes, individuals. God often gives one person a passion, and a when others see the good that’s being done, they want to get involved.
1. Prepare welcome baskets for new families in your neighborhood. Along with cookies or brownies, include an invitation to Bible study and worship at your church.
2. Obtain a list of the homebound members in your church and their birthdays. Send a card from your family on their special day.
3. Prayerwalk your neighborhood at least three times a week. Make a point to notice “prayer triggers” in the yards: a tricycle might trigger a prayer for the child and/or the parents. Let the Holy Spirit guide your words and remember to greet everyone you meet.
4. Read the newspaper (paper version or on-line version). Note events and names that call you to pray…then pause and pray. If information is available, send an appropriate note to let persons know they have been prayed for.
5. Guide your family to “adopt” a senior adult in your neighborhood and help him or her in some way at least twice a month.
6. Lead the children to participate in national Children’s Ministry Day on February 16, Michigan Children’s Ministry Day on March 22, or on a day of your choosing. Go to http://wmu.com/index.php?q=children/childrens-ministry-day/welcome-childrens-ministry-day to learn more
7. Take the youth, women’s, or men’s group in your church to prepare and/or serve a meal in a local soup kitchen.
8. Volunteer a day at a local women’s shelter. (Challenge: Volunteer more than once in 2014.)
9. Participate in a collection of items for correctional institutions, crisis pregnancy centers, and homeless shelters.
10. Write a note of encouragement to new parents in your neighborhood.
11. Offer to care for an unchurched neighbor’s children so the parents can go to dinner.
12. Write a note to your mayor, the governor, a senator or representative (or all) pledging your prayer for them. Encourage them to stand firm on matters that would compromise Christian values.
13. Participate in the fight against Human Trafficking in our state. Become a Child Safe Zone Hotel Project advocate and trainer. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and training.
14. Give generously and sacrificially, as God leads, to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. (March)
15. Give generously and sacrificially, as God leads, to the Frances Brown State Missions Offering for missions in Michigan. (September)
16. Give generously and sacrificially, as God leads, to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International missions. (December)
17. Pray daily for “those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Pray for city, county, state, and national leaders.
18. Send a card of encouragement and prayer to military personnel serving around the world, particularly in war-torn countries.
19. Pack a care box for service personnel serving around the world. Involve children, youth, and adults.
20. Make missions a part of your family vacation. While camping in a state park, participate in worship services offered by a resort missionary. Invite the campers next to you to share a meal, which would include a devotional and prayer time.
21. Collect new or slightly-used blankets to be distributed to the homeless in your community.
22. Participate, with missions groups in your church in Pure Water, Pure Love– a ministry of WMU, SBC that provides missionaries and the people with whom they serve clean water filters or purification systems. Go to http://www.wmu.com/index.php?q=ministries/pure-water-pure-love/pure-water-pure-love for more information.
23. Work in tandem with social services at local hospital by sewing baby quilts for newborn babies of low-income families. In one corner square of the quilt, embroder Luke 2:52.
24. Organize a uniform swap for school children in your association or community.
25. Sponsor a mother-daughter cookie bake in your church. Moms and daughters will bake cookies together at the church and together will deliver to the fire or police stations.
26. Adopt a nursing home and host a birthday party each month for the residents.
27. Assess the need for a food or clothing distribution in your community. Organize the ministry through your church. (Yes, existing organizations already do this ministry, but do they do so because of God’s compelling love, a way to lead someone to salvation?)
28. Make stuffed Dolls on Mission for a church or association missions trip working with children in another country. Go to http://www.wmu.com/index.php?q=blog/adults/projects to learn more and to download a pattern.
29. Knit neck scarves for homeless people in your community. Distribute the scarves through your church, a ministry center in your community, or a faith-based organization that works with the homeless.
30. Spend a day cleaning, straightening, painting, and freshening at a nearby ministry center.
31. Collect bicycles throughout the year, even those that seem beyond use. Ask the men (or mechanical-minded) of your church to work with those bikes, creating like-new bicycles to be given at Christmas to low-income families.
32. Participate with your church family in Christmas in August gifting missionaries with materials and supplies for their on-going ministries.
33. Be part of a missions trip in 2014 through your church, association or state convention. Be a prayer partner or provide funding (in addition to you regular tithes and offering and gifts to state, national, and international missions. Go!
34. Adults, serve as a sponsor for your youth as they make a missions trip.
35. Host a “bottle shower” (or other item) for a crisis pregnancy center in your association or community.
36. Put together bagged lunches for the homeless. Include canned meat, peanut butter or cheese crackers, a bottle of water and an apple along with a typed prayer thanking God for his provision. Distribute either through your church, association, or a local ministry site/organization.
37. As a church or association, plan and lead an evangelistic block party. Include party blowups, hot dogs and chili, Bible stories for children and numerous volunteers prepared to share their faith and pray with participants.
38. Nurses and health care professionals work through your church or association to provide a free health fair in your community.
39. Collect school supplies for children whose families have difficulty providing them. Place them in an appropriate school bag. Make an effort to pray with the children as bags are delivered.
40. Plan a basketball camp for children in a low-income neighborhood. Include a devotional and/or Bible study with each session. Try chronological Bible storying.
41. Volunteer as a tutor in an after-school program through your public schools.
42. Organize an after-school tutoring program at your church or in an apartment complex.
43. Develop an English-as-a-Second-Language program through your church for newly arrived internationals in your community.
44. Organize and host a neighborhood Vacation Bible School in a housing project or multi-family housing area.
45. Invite the youth to offer a free “just because we care” car wash. As you finish each car present the owner with a gospel tract or Scripture portion.
46. Do light repair and painting for an unchurched elderly person in your community. Help him/her know that you are working because Jesus loves them.
47. Women, get involved with a CWJC (Christian Women’s Job Corps) site. Men, help to develop (Christian Men’s Job Corps) site in your area. Visit the Petoskey Area Christian Job Corps facebook page to learn how they are impacting their community.
48. Be part of a Christmas shoebox project in 2014. By starting now to collect specific items each month, a class can complete several boxes by November. Distribute through Samaritan’s Purse or a Southern Baptist missionary-maybe on a Native-American reservation in the American West. NAMB-endorsed Mission Service Corps missionaries are working on several reservations and would love shoeboxes. Some churches send blankets and warm-weather wear for adults as well as shoeboxes for infants, children, middle schoolers and teens through high school graduation.
49. Operate a free Christmas wrapping service for the elderly and special needs families in your neighborhood.
50. Be prepared when street or utility repair persons are present in your neighborhood. Provide bottled water for them, with a word of thanks, and a promise of prayer for their safety.
51. Make hygiene bags for a Southern Baptist-affiliated seamen’s center.
52. Provide emergency supplies for house fire victims. Include personal items. Arrange for distribution through the local fire station.
53. Volunteer your service to an unchurched homebound or elderly person to be a “personal shopper”. Make weekly trips to the grocery store for him/her.
54. Make seasonal greeting cards (Valentine’s, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) for residents of a rehab center. Engage a group from your church to help with delivery.
55. Remember veterans on Valentine’s Day. Lead your children’s missions groups to make Valentines for Vets and deliver them to a Veteran’s Hospital or care center.
56. Lead teens to begin a monthly ministry in an apartment complex. Include Bible study, learning activities, and recreation. This is great for Acteens, Youth on Mission, Challengers and youth groups.
57. As a family, participate in FamilyFest (a ministry of WMU, SBC). Go to http://wmu.com/index.php?q=blog/sneak-peek-2014-missions-trips#node-3960 for more information.
58. Make play dough with your child or a group of Mission Friends to take to an unchurched friend or to an ill child.
59. Stroll outside with your preschooler to pick flowers and greenery from your garden or purchase them from a store. Let your child arrange the flowers and greenery in a jar or vase, tie with a ribbon, and deliver to a homebound neighbor.
60. Lead a food drive in your church. It could be for a local food bank or for a specific family in need (for instance, a fire or flood victim).
61. Lead preschoolers to make Bible though bookmarkers. Deliver to the hospital or to a nursing home.
62. Make “Emergency Kits” for families waiting in an emergency room or ICU. Include a new washcloth, travel-size bar soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, breakfast bar and a gospel tract that shares Christ and encouragement. Work with the volunteers in the emergency room and ICU to keep the kits in stock. These can also be distributed through local police and fire departments.
63. Lead your church to plan a free movie night for your community/neighborhood. Serve popcorn and soft drinks. Plan a greeting time and closing time to make an evangelistic presentation. Be sure every participant receives a gospel tract and information about your church.
64. Prayerwalk the perimeter (and hallways, if possible) of local schools the week before school starts.
65. If you regularly walk or run at a school track, make this a prayer time, praying for students, teachers, and administrators as you work out.
66. Women, host a WorldCraftsSM party in your neighborhood. Invite both churched and unchurched friends (www.worldcraftsvillage.com, a ministry of WMU, SBC).
67. Acteens and Youth on Mission, consider working a week with a North American missionary in the summer. This is possible through Acteens ActivatorsSM and Youth on Mission Point Teams (www.acteens.com or www.youthonmissions.com). Women, sign up for MissionsFESTSM (www.wmu.com/VolunteerConnection or email@example.com.)
68. Women, adopt a young mother in your neighborhood. Invite her to coffee or tea. Build a mentoring relationship with one goal being to share Christ and to disciple, while encouraging her as a mom and homemaker.
69. Volunteer to intentionally prayerwalk. Contact Volunteers in Missions at IMB (www.imb.org).
70. Make missions offering banks for your family. Use these throughout the year, setting a family goal as you support your church in reaching its missions goals for state, North American, and international missions.
71. Decorate paper bags or boxes for food distribution at a local ministry center. Along with drawing and design, include a simple Bible verse.
72. Volunteer as a “friend” at a local nursing home or care center. Regularly visit and talk to residents who have few, if any visitors.
73. Adopt an MK, the son or daughter of international missionaries, attending college in your state. Send cards, a gift card to Wal-Mart or restaurants. Invite the student to your home for short weekends and holidays if no other family is in the state.
74. Host an Easter egg hunt for children who live in shelters in your community. Include egg decorating activities and a story time.
75. Label water bottles with a Scripture verse sharing God’s love and contact information for your church. Distribute the water bottles freely at local festivals, parades, and fairs.
76. Host a “giveaway garage sale” in an area with low-income families. Collect and give away gently-used, well-running items. Be ready and willing to share Christ and pray with your “shoppers.”
77. Supply packaged snacks for waiting rooms at hospital and doctor offices. Label with your church’s name and a Bible verse.
78. Sew stuffed animals or dolls for a local hospital nursery.
79. Supply new teddy bears for policemen to carry in their cars to be given to children with whom they encounter in crisis situations.
80. Make quilts for women’s shelters—quilts to be given to a resident and taken with her when she is able to leave the shelter, as a reminder that God loves her.
81. Make finger puppets for children in the hospital or for missionaries to use in telling Bible stories where they live and work.
82. Share Missions Mosaic, Open Windows, Stand Firm, Home Living, and Journey, through a hospital waiting room. Update the magazines monthly.
83. Prayerwalk in your state with Women’s Missions and Ministry (www.lbc.org/women).
84. Shower women’s and children’s shelters with new or barely-used books for the residents. Plan to do this at least twice during the year.
85. Collect Christian fiction or non-fiction for women housed in your county jail or detention center or at your state’s Correctional Institute for Women. Work with the chaplain’s office or warden’s office to do this.
86. Make plans for your family to share Valentine’s Day with an unchurched single parent and family. Plan interactive activities for your families. At the close of the day, offer your availability for future activities as well.
87. Organize a sock drive. Collect new children’s socks in July/August to help low-income children prepare to return to school.
88. Once a month collect women’s hygiene supplies for women at a local shelter. Place collection baskets in women’s restrooms throughout the church. Deliver with copies of Missions Mosaic, fulfilled, and Open Windows.
89. Volunteer at a North American Mission site in your state. Email Women’s Missions and Ministry for suggestions and contact information.
90. Collect and send phone cards to military personnel serving overseas. A military chaplain can supply information for initiating a project like this.
91. Operate a “baby comfort station” at a local festival or fair. Provide greeters to talk with the parents as they care for their children. This is a great associational project.
92. Join a clown ministry through your church or another group in town. Volunteer regularly at a local hospital, sharing a smile, and Jesus’s love.
93. Offer free makeovers (providing make-up and business-style clothing) for residents at a women’s shelter. Include Bible studies about the beauty God gives us from the inside out.
94. Sponsor a “Dad and Lad” fishing day in your community. Include a devotional and prayer time in the day’s plans. Lads without dads? Ask men in your church to “adopt.”
95. Using jars or vases along with flowers from your garden or from a nursery, work with residents at a nursing home to arrange flowers and place them in their “home.”
96. Get to know an international family in your neighborhood. Share a meal with them, introduce them to American customs. As you get to know them, find ways to share Jesus Christ’s love and His desire for salvation and eternal life.
97. Gather the women in your church to make jelly or jam. Sell the jelly to your church members (they can use the jelly or jam as an outreach!). Designate the proceed to your state missions offering.
98. Winterize the home of a homebound senior adult in your community. Provide material and supplies needed to do this.
99. Complete Disaster Relief Training (which includes a variety of avenues) and be prepared to meet needs the moment a disaster strikes.
100. Engage your family on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime throughout the year, with your family, help to prepare and serve a meal at a local shelter or soup kitchen.
101. Organize an underwear drive. Collect new children’s underwear in July/August to help low-income children prepare to return to school.
102. Organize a hat, scarf, and gloves drive. Collect new children’s and adults hats, scarves, and gloves to give through a local homeless shelter or to low-income families.
103. Make soft and stylish turbans for cancer patients to use as they undergo chemotherapy. Go to http://www.wmu.com/index.php?q=blog/adults/projects to learn more and download instructions and a pattern.
104. Volunteer at a local clothing closet to clean and sort clothes by size and type.
105. Provide items for “Care Packages” for college students in your church or through campus Christian Challenge groups. Items could include school supplies, toiletries, small Bibles, Christian CDS, gift cards to Walmart and/or fast food restaurants and snack foods (especially homemade snack foods). Best times for distribution are finals weeks, Christmas and Easter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Christian Challenge ministers in your area.
106. Partner with Baptist Global Response to collect and assemble “Kits for Kids.” Through this project, church groups, and families across the United States assemble “kits” of basic school supplies and drop them in the mail. Using its global network of national partners, Baptist Global Response distributes the kits to families in dozens of countries around the globe. You can help equip kids with the tools they need to get an education! Learn more about this project at www.bgrkitsforkids.com.
107. Create “service coupons” for your neighbors. For example: “This coupon is good for one day of yard work.” “Redeem this coupon for one car wash.” Create other coupons to meet the needs of your neighbors.
108. Create children’s activity packets. Put together word puzzles and coloring activities, based on Bible stories and small packs of crayons in zip-lock type bags. Obtain permission to place these packets in medical offices, dental offices, laundromats, and emergency waiting rooms.
109. Recycle aluminum cans for cash. Organize a church-wide aluminum can recycling effort and donate the proceeds to missions.
110. Host a Health Check or Community Blood Drive. Contact your local hospital or home health care provider to partner with.
111. Prison Felloship’s Angel Tree Ministry and After Care Ministry. Contact 800-55-ANGEL, or http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/.
112. Women’s Missions Prayer Tea. Oranize a prayer tea praying specifically for women of an unreached people group.
113. Host the Most Beautiful than Diamonds Boutique at your church or event. Proceeds go to help victims of human trafficking in Michigan and around the world.
114. Serve hot drinks to the Homeless. Prepare hot drinks and gospel tracts and distribute them to the Homeless.
115. Car inspection and Oil Change Saturday. Perform basic car inspections and oil changes for single women and senior adult or widows.
116. Adopt a Widow or Senior Adult. Run errands, clean house, clean out flower beds, and change light bulbs for a senior adult or widow.
117. Adopt a new church start pastor and family. Great way to offer encouragement and resources to a new church start pastor.
118. Serve your city. Serve Bay City! Make a list of community projects that need to be done by contacting the City Manager’s office and exploring your city’s real needs.
119. Collect Winter coats. Sponsor a coat drive at your church or in your town. Give the coats to the homeless, to shelter residents or low-income children.
120. Look around your neighborhood and community. Identify a need and with your family, church missions group, Bible study and/or Sunday School class, meet that need in the name of our Lord Jesus.