I spent the morning at the North Texas Food Bank with a group of ninth and tenth graders. We took food donated by individuals through local grocery stores during Super Bowl week and packed it in boxes to be distributed to food pantries and other ministries in the North Texas Area. The North Texas Food Bank distributed 3 million pounds of food last month alone.
We did this through our school’s mission program, instituted three years ago. I love going on these quarterly mission days with our middle school and high school students. Today I realized why.
Not only do these days give me a time and place to do something “others” focused, but working alongside my children and their friends gives us a shared experience. It’s not like a regular field trip where the moms cluster together and talk while the kids do whatever the activity is. On mission days, the parents work with the kids, often letting them take the lead role. And as we work together, we see each other as people instead of as “adults” and “teenagers.”
I like, too, that our mission days give the kids—and adults—the opportunity to experience different kinds of ministry work. Some prefer the opportunities to minister directly to people by feeding the homeless, interacting with refugees, taking meals to shut-ins, while others (like me) prefer task oriented ministry—doing a more “menial” task that is but one cog in a large wheel of ministering to a persons’ needs, like organizing donated clothes or packing boxes of donated food. We all have a place, and a gift. And I like that we help the kids discover what fits the way God made them.
We will go out again on a Friday in April. I can’t wait to see what opportunities await us!