Aim: To learn about community participation. Leader’s Notes: Community participation refers to the ability and opportunities for children to participate in decision-making activities that steer the development of the community. Participating in community decisions gives ownership and empowers children to develop their own community. Taken from the BB Junior Pro Pack C-2-4
Community Challenge template
Activity 1 - Community Challenge
Aim: The goal of the challenge is to complete 10 activities below before a set deadline.
Engage with the parents as they may be crucial to the children completing each task. If you feel that any of the tasks are unachievable for your children. Then change them and add some that you feel may be easier to achieve. The Challenge Sheets can be edited.
Explain that there will be a prize for each person who completes their challenges but they must all be recorded. It is a fun way to make some positive changes in each child’s life. They will also feel the positive benefits of helping others and themselves.
While many of the activities are aimed at improving personal health and wellness, others will help the children to create a healthier, supportive, and connected community.
Do change any that you feel are not achievable or may not be safe.
You can add more challenges and get the children to choose ten from the list — that way there is plenty for the children to choose from and they will all be able to achieve ten challenges. They need to commit to this as each task needs to be signed and dated.
Activity 2 -Caring For And Giving To Others
Aim: To do something with your children that’s focused on giving to others in a way that they can see.
We want to show children how they can give to others. This may be done in many ways. The opposite of materialism is giving to others and can help to foster an attitude in children that will help to counter materialism.
We also want the children to connect to the church that they are a part of. To do this they need to engage with those in the church in a personal way. There may be some ill people in church that need shopping done for them or a meal taken to them. The children can get involved with this with adult supervision. Below is a list of activities that you can engage them in and help them to see how others need them and also how positive they will feel after helping others
• Find out about an ill church member and send them a letter or card.
• Bake a cake for some ill or elderly members of church or their families.
• Could the group support a child in another country with their education?
• The group could collect toys and donate them to a local hospital/hospice or refuge.
• Is there a wider community or international project that the children could raise money for.
• Could the group collect personal care items for local shelters.
• At Harvest or Christmas time get the children to prepare some songs and/or a play to take into an old peoples home with some presents.
• As a group, support a missionary who would be able to send you some information a few times a year about what they are doing.
There are many things that will happen in your community that you can get the children involved with. If they see the results of their efforts they will grow in compassion and care for others.
• Lead by example. If you see someone in need, do you do anything about it?
• Teach from the Bible about giving regularly.(Pr.14:21.Pr.19:17,Pr.21:13,Pr.22:9).
• Make opportunities for children to give. Children enjoy giving to other children because they understand their situations better.
• Appeal to children’s naturally sensitive nature. Help them to imagine what it would be like to live in another child’s situation,
• Make sure the children understand the importance of giving themselves. Could they go without something themselves to make others ’lives better?
• Be creative. Children can give more than money.
• Let the children have the satisfaction of seeing someone else be blessed by their service. Let that be the reward.
• Always give positive feedback for service,
• Don’t miss the point of what you are teaching children. Getting children to bring money to BB is not the same as teaching them to give. The goal is to teach the children to be givers.
• Don’t use rewards for giving as this can impact on the giving and reduce it to an exchange of goods and services.
The Following Websites may be useful:
www.compassion.com/ Sponsor a child and write and receive letters from them,
www.samaritanspurse.org Shoeboxes at Christmas for children
If you are supporting a charity encourage the children to be involved in selecting which one.
Activity 3 - Helping The Elderly In The Church And In The Community
To reach out to those who may need help and support and to give some time to those who may need it more than others in the church and the community. This is an outreach opportunity.
Take a look at some of these ideas for community service projects and activities that children can get involved in. Pick a few and find some elderly people either in the church or in the local community and offer some assistance on a termly basis. This will help the church to connect with their local residents.
• Make a craft and give to an elderly person.
• Go to the supermarket and pick up shopping for an elderly person.
• Spend some time talking to an elderly person.
• Sing Christmas carols at for an elderly person or at a home for the elderly at Christmas.
• Pick flowers for an elderly person.
• Get shopping for elderly church member.
• Have the children clean up an elderly person’s garden or plant flowers for them.
• Make some cakes to deliver.
There are many ways for the children to help and to show them that they are capable and able to help others. They too are called to service and we must encourage them from a young age to think of others.
You could then make a database of those that you have helped and so the church will know what the local needs are and respond to them.
Links: 1 John 3:18 says, Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.’
For full details see the BB Junior Pro Pack C2-4