“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10
As Christmas draws near, we know your small group is probably looking for ways to give back to those in need. The opportunities to work together to serve our communities are endless. When you work together as a small group to serve and love those around you, you’re working toward something bigger than yourself and even your group—you’re working to build the kingdom of God.
Giving back together as a small group is fun too! You’re able to physically and emotionally support one another, hold each other accountable, and build relationships within your group. Adding an element of service to your time together can create a bond like nothing else.
To help you get started, the LifeWay Women team came up with a list of ways you and your group can give back to those around you all year long:
- Pack meals and deliver them to needy families at Christmas.
- Host “Room in the Inn” at your church.
- Sponsor a neighborhood school and provide pre-filled backpacks with non-perishable food items they can have at home. Provide school supplies for the teachers. Provide snacks and other gifts to the teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
- Place empty cups or baby bottles in the center of your room each week during small group. Everyone can place their extra change in the cups or bottles and collectively the group can decide how to distribute the money.
- Partner with a Children’s Home and find out what their tangible needs are, then work together as a group to gather the items and present them to the workers of the home together.
- Sponsor some gifts and a party for a family at your local Children’s home. You could even provide dinner and presents and play games with the kids.
- Host a food drive for your local Children’s home. Each home receives a small amount of money that the house parent has to stretch to feed the entire house for 30 days. Your small group can reach out to others in your church and community for more support and larger contributions.
- Partner with a nearby school that might not get much parental help. Offer to spend a week or two volunteering to help in the teacher’s workroom or reading with children who need a little extra attention.
- Take a child shopping at Christmas time. You can get a list from the schools of children who probably will not be receiving gifts during the holidays.
- Bake cookies together as a group and deliver them to your local firehouse, police station, hospital, or to others who serve in your community.
- Plan a game day or spa day for your local nursing home. Some nursing homes have an Event Coordinator who is always looking for volunteers for preplanned events.
- Give gifts through a local Angel Tree for children who have a parent in prison. You pick an angel from the tree with a child’s name and age and give them a Christmas present, along with a message of love and the gospel.
- Adopt a widow or widower for the holidays (or a whole year)! Each member/couple in the small group adopts a widow/widower. You can spend one-on-one quality time with them by taking them to the movies or a basketball game, or your small group could plan a fun event for all the widows/widowers to attend!
- Reach out to your local hospital to see what ways you can serve! Around the holidays, some hospitals need baby coddlers, craft days for the kids, care packages for families in the ICU/NICU waiting room, meals for nurses, and more!
What are some ways your group has given back this year? Share your ideas in the comments below!