Building Hearts For Service - a link-up

I do not have spiritual gifts in service, mercy, evangelism. I just don’t. Any service or mercy I show is PURELY from God. Whenever my heart is softened toward the lost it is ENTIRELY a God-thing.

However, I wanted my children to have strengths where I do not. We knew that they would lean toward the strengths Kevin and I have, simply because that was how we talked and worked in our lives. But my desire was to give them encouragement in areas that were not our strengths.

  • When our oldest ones were little, we started reading through a book on missions throughout the world. It was a great thing in getting the children’s hearts contemplating those around the world who were laying their lives on the line for the gospel. Later we started a Missionary Club from our home. This post tells a little bit more about it.
  • We encouraged our second daughter to use her love of letter writing and she got a list of the widows/elderly in our church from our pastor’s wife. She sent a letter every week to a different widow. She told them she was 12 and a little bit about her life and just that she was praying for them that week and wanted to write and encourage them in their lives and their faith. It was delightful when she got letters back. It was especially heart-warming when one letter came from one elderly man the day after he died, knowing he wrote it just 2 days before he went to Glory. He wrote how blessed he was to have her pray and share her love with him.
  • Our church had a woman who traveled to Russia to bring items to the orphans there. Our children started a lemonade stand and all the money raised there was given to our church to send to the orphans.
  • Later our younger girls contacted all the folks they used to deliver newspapers to and offered to work in their homes and yards and asked for a love offering. This money was sent to a specific ministry they had a heart for.

Much of what our children have done over the years has been on their own initiative and creativity. I just tried to foster an environment that encouraged them to reach out to others with the love of Jesus.

How are you building a desire to serve others in your children? I’d love you to share your stories!

A Handful of Heart, The Better Mom, Sharing In His Beauty, Monday Musings, Domestically Divine, Time Warp Wife, Gratituesday, Encouraging One Another, Women Living Well, Winsome Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Wise Woman Builds Her House

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17 comments to Building Hearts For Service – a link-up

  • In our case, those *are* our strengths which is why the kids and myself came up with the name of my blog, Hearts in Service. From the time they were toddlers, they were alongside of us and serving (well, not as toddlers but you know what I mean).

    Dan & I did 10 years of inner city ministry and our kids would toddle around and play in the same room as we taught English as a Second Language. They were there, helping us set up chairs. They passed out gloves and hot cocoa to homeless one year. I have a picture of Nathan playing in the home of a Habitat for Humanity owner as Dan led a prayer meeting there.

    Then we moved out of the inner city and into church planting and they just kept helping us there. Setting up and tearing down equipment each week. Hosting missionaries. Having people over for dinner.

    It’s been a part of their lives since they were babies. I think more of what they learned was caught and not taught. I see it happening into their young adult lives now too. Nathan is a volunteer firefighter and rescue squad worker. Stephen is always helping people out and telling them he doesn’t want money. Emily helps out wherever she can too.

    This is a great topic, Kate!

    • Kate

      Terri…how wonderful!! Doing those kinds of activities are things we had to PLAN for so I love reading how for others they are second nature. I am so blessed to read how natural it is for your children to jump in and serve where there are needs and how they just SEE needs! It is family’s like YOURS that teach me how to “excel still more”! Thanks so much for sharing your strength and family with ME!

  • I love this topic today. I hope that as my daughter grows I am able to see her strengths as well and help her discover how to use them for God’s glory and to bring encouragement to others.

    • Kate

      Praying God gives you great insight into your daughter’s heart and strengths to know how to best encourage her to walk in way to glorify God!

  • Tara

    Hi Kate, I was in a hurry for a Dr. appt this morning so I linked-up without being able to read your post. I had to stop back tonight and read it because I knew it would be a great one!

    You have some wonderful ideas. This is an area I am wanting to build on in our family time. I read your past post about the Missionary Club and I love it! I am going to ask my husband and children if we could start one in our church.

  • Rina Peru

    This is a beautiful thing that you’re teaching your children, Kate. Indeed, it is really the Lord who gives us the inspiration and who works through us for His glory.

    In the Philippines, it’s just easy to spot poverty – it’s prevalent in the city as well as in the remote provinces. I do my best also to bring awareness to my children about the state of our less fortunate countrymen. I want them to have compassion for them and how they could extend love and mercy.


    • Kate

      Rina, you are sweet. Yes, I could see that it would be different in different parts of the world. Praise the Lord that you are passing on a heart of compassion in your raising your children!

  • So often children learn through example. When they see us serving and giving, they follow suit. But, it is such a blessing when the Lord places the desire to “give back” upon their hearts and they step out on their own! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kate…I love this post as you know…we have trained our children to have a heart for the needy and homeless. But what you shared about the letter writing really moved me. I’m going to pray about this for our family. Thanks for sharing wonderful ideas to bring servanthood into the family. Blessings.

    • Kate

      Thanks, Naomi. I love looking to God’s creativity on how we can pass tender and compassionate hearts to my children because I, on my own, have none! ;-D

  • Hello, Kate! I am so blessed to read some of these posts! The Lord is at work in families! Thank you for hosting! Also, your posts are the kind I love to see on ‘Encourage One Another’…I hope you will link-up often, as many as you like. Thank you, friend :)

  • Hello, Kate! I am so blessed to read some of these posts! The Lord is at work in families! Thank you for hosting! Also, your posts are the kind I love to see on ‘Encourage One Another’…I love it when you link-up. Thank you, friend :)

  • What great ideas! One of my favorite Christmas traditions – first with my kids, and now with my grandkids – is filling shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse as we talk about the children who might open them and what it means to be a missionary, whether overseas or right in our own neighborhood. It’s been a fun way of planting seeds of service in their hearts and minds. Have a blessed week.

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