serveOur mission for Next Gen mirrors the mission of our church. One of the components of our mission relates to serving. Specifically, here’s how serving supports our mission.

Be the Body (Serve)
We help kids realize that they are part of a collective body bigger than themselves and that through God’s power they can make a significant difference in the world for Christ.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

I’ve been working with my team in setting goals for 2010 and I’ve been thinking a lot about this area of service. Last year my goal was to initiate two serving initiatives where participation would exceed 50%. We did two outreaches in 2009. One was a flop and the other appeared fairly successful. However this year I want to put a little more though into this area of service.

Rather than just have a service project/initiative, I want to teach our kids how to serve. I’ve done all kinds of service projects in my years of ministry. We’ve raised canned food, peanut butter, gifts, money and all kinds of other things. Through these drives, we’ve helped thousands of people in need. But I’m not sure we were always successful in teaching our kids to serve. When doing these projects, how often were parents just going out and buying the stuff for the kids to turn in? Although it may help our project see success, does it make a difference where it’s most important.

I can only speak for myself (although I have a feeling many others of you are in this same boat). We’ve held initiatives where the goal is to raise “x” amount of money or “x” amount of whatever. Success is determined by how close we get to “x.” What if we looked at the initiative from the other viewpoint and “x” amount of whatever wasn’t what determined success, but perhaps a percentage of participation was? In addition, what would it have to look like so you could track participation?

Just thinking out loud on this. What do you think?