On Mission

Fun Summer Service Ideas

Summer is my favorite!! Mostly because I truly do love to be outside, sitting on my back porch and playing with the girls in the sweltering heat. What’s not to love about that? But I also love the freedom of our schedule being wide open! No school! No early mornings! Very few extra activities that we “have” to be at. Just me and the girls and fun and friends!

Each summer I strive to choose a few ways to encourage the girls to serve and love others. Summer seems to be an easier time to do this because of our more open schedule. Here are a few easy ideas to help us make this the best summer ever!

1. Invite a few friends over for a popsicle and water playdate! Try to Invite friends who you don’t see often or need encouragement or maybe the mama that seems to have it all together – cause chances are, she may be longing for fellowship too!

2. Set up a lemonade stand and either give ice cold glasses of lemonade away just to simply say “we love our neighbors” or if you do decide to sell it, donate your profits to a local non-profit or church to use.

3. PrayerWalk a neighborhood and then spend a little while playing at the park. We have a local event called Pray & Play and if you’re local, join us for the next one on May 30 at 10:00am. Our little ones can pray too – they don’t have to be elaborate or fancy but they can be simple.

4. Spend an afternoon serving together at a food pantry or clothing closet! We did this last year with my oldest and my two nieces and we had a blast! I answered lots of questions and we may have not gotten a ton of clothing hung on hangers but my girls were challenged and their eyes were opened to the need right in their community!

5.!Make cards and a care package for friends serving Jesus around the world! Send a few pool or summer toys for their kiddos to enjoy too! Families love to get a little taste of home! If you don’t have someone that you can encourage, let me know and I can help you get connected!

What are fun summer ways that you have served Jesus? Share with us over at Instagram so we can all be encouraged!

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On Mission

Local Mamas: Pray & Play

Be sure to join us May 30th at 10:00am at The Bridge for a fun morning of prayer and play time! We will begin our time with a fun prayer walk through the Northside and then close it out at the brand new playground at The Bridge for some fun playtime.

The Bridge is a community ministry center of First Baptist Spartanburg at the former Green St. Baptist Church located at 317 Green St. It is open to serve those in need through financial support, clothing and food ministries. There are also children’s programs and a bike program. It’s such a fun and exciting place to be!

Our desire is that this time will help you and your little ones to be intentional in all you do whether it’s playing or praying. It’s also just a lot more fun to serve with other mamas and their littles!

There is no cost to attend; however, we do ask that you bring a few canned items for us to donate to The Bridge. Also, be sure to wear some good walking shoes, grab your stroller, water bottles, and some sunscreen. Be sure to sign up at our Event Page and let us know that you are coming.

On Mission

Pray & Play

Our first Pray & Play was so very fun and simple – pray then play!

While the weather didn’t quite cooperate with us, we just went with Plan B and “prayer walked inside”. Our town has the coolest lightbulb sculptures all over the downtown area, so for our prayer time, we “found” pics of the lightbulbs hidden all throughout the play area and paused for a moment to pray at each picture. Each mama was given prayer points to guide their prayers and to remind us of different ways we could pray for our city. Plan A was to find the real lightbulbs outside and enjoy prayer walking outside – oh South Carolina weather…

Then we had a little snack time and enjoyed playing together!

And while it was “simple” and fun, I also believe that it is very important and foundational to raising little ones to love Jesus and love others. Our littles learn to pray for and love their community when they see us as mamas (and daddy’s) praying and loving our community and that starts at any age!

How are you praying for your community? Are you leading your little ones to pray for your community? For your mayor, for your city council? For the helping agencies and the homeless? For the college students and the international students? For the churches and the pastors? So much we can pray for!

If you are local, I hope that you will join us at our next Pray & Play. If you’re not, why not start your own group? Find a great park or local area to prayerwalk, invite a few friends to join you, and have fun with your littles!

Blog, Mission Ideas

Prayer Walking Scavenger Hunt: Free Printable

 

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If you have followed along for any length of time around here, you will see that one of the most talked about activities for us to use with our children is prayer walking. Our little town has made it so very easy to go for a quick prayer walk around the city center by installing these really cool lightbulbs. So we’ve gone on several prayer walks through our city on a hunt for lightbulbs. So much so that when my four year old finds a new lightbulb, she makes us stop and pray. (Haha)

Prayer walking is easy and fun and a great way to expose our little ones to the constant need for prayer. It also helps them see the needs around them and emphasizes the importance of praying right then. And of course there is always the added bonus of helping them think of other things and people besides themselves. And to top it off, what little one doesn’t love to go on a fun scavenger hunt?!

As the new school year begins, we’ve created a fun “Back to School” Scavenger Hunt Printable that you can print and use with your little ones as you prayer walk at their school or a school in the neighborhood.

As a family you can look for the items and stop and pray together. If you’re one of those competitive families though, make a game out of it and see who can find and pray for the most items in a certain amount of time. Whatever you do, let’s make praying fun! Let’s encourage our little ones to see things like flag poles, school buses, and crayons differently this year!  And most importantly, let’s begin our school year by praying!


Back to School Prayer Walk Printable

 

And as you’re starting the school year, be sure to check out the Back To School Tips for you and your family to start the school year ON Mission!

Be sure to post pics in our On Mission Moms Facebook Group of your fun Scavenger Hunt Prayer Walk or tag us at @OnMissionMoms!
Please only use the printable for your personal use! 

 

Blog, Mission Ideas, On Mission

Prayer Walking Fun

I love our city and our downtown area especially is really growing and becoming a fun place to be for all. The Chapman Cultural Center, our community arts center, has added great lightbulb sculptures throughout the downtown area (and beyond) and we LOVE discovering them and seeing what all each artist has created. I have taken it one step further though and used it as a fun way to introduce prayer and the importance of prayer walking to the girls.

Prayer Walking is just an intentional time of focus and prayer and simply “praying as you go.” I’ll be honest though, with a four year old and a 20 month old, there wasn’t much focus and the prayers were definitely simple and all over the place. But that is one thing I love about leading our little ones to pray and have a heart for Jesus and others – it doesn’t have to be real complicated. In fact, I think Jesus said faith was pretty simple, like a child. We have to start somewhere so even leading my sweet 20 month old to pray is so very important!

Prayer Walking, now that the weather is warming up and the sun is shining is a simple and fun adventure for all of us – kids and mommies!

1. It helps our little ones and us see and realize that the world is bigger than we are. As we walked from lightbulb to lightbulb, I was able to have great conversations about our town, the people we passed, what the lightbulb reminded us of or brought to mind and our hearts were not thinking about ourselves quite as much for just that little bit.

2. It’s gets them going and outside! And it gets us going too!! So many times it is just easier to sit or stay and while it’s easier, I’m not sure it’s always best. Don’t get me wrong, there are times and days when home is where you just need to be, but being active as children and letting your kids see you be active is huge! And mixing activity and our faith together sends an incredible message that it’s not just a Sunday “thing”.

3. Prayer walking models for them that they can pray anywhere and any which way! A lot of times, I get stuck in the rut of just praying at bedtime or first thing in the morning – prayer walking for us reminds us that we can do that any time, any where and it’s fun!

4. It focuses our hearts and minds. As we are walking and praying, we are usually more intentional and focused and it’s easier to keep our minds settled in to prayer. Often times when I’m having my quiet time at home, I’m distracted by the phone or the book or the dishes or the dirty laundry. When I’m out and about, praying as I go, I tend to stay way more focused!

5. It draws us closer to God’s heart and God’s plan for our city! When we are walking through our downtown area, praying for those that we pass, for businesses and nonprofits who are doing great work, for homeless friends sitting in the park, for growth and construction (cause it’s everywhere downtown) – my heart changes! It gives me more of a desire to be busy about God’s kingdom purposes and not just the mundane household chores or changing diapers and while those things are crucial and highly needed – sometimes we get distracted by the non-eternal things.

Is there a time when you can set aside to get outside in your town and walk and pray? Does your town have any fun art sculptures that you can center your prayers around? What are things you have done to lead your children in their prayers for the world and for their city? Share your experiences and wisdom so that we can all learn from one another!!

If you are a local On Mission Mom, here is a great resource to show you where all the lightbulbs are located, their names and story!

Also there are some fun ideas for prayer walking over on our On Mission Moms Pinterest Prayer Board.