Now that the holiday season is officially over, you may be picking up the threads of ministry for the new year. The first quarter of a new year is often a time when we “let down,” failing to be energetic about ministry. We are just too tired! There’s no money and we can’t seem to motivate ourselves to do much of anything. While this may be our situation, those in need are still living and moving in need. Living in spiritual darkness with no hope is an energy-draining existence. When temperatures plummet and cold winds blow, we must re-focus on ministering to others. Here are some ideas that might revitalize your interest in ministry.
Reach Out to Senior Citizens
Winter brings dreary days and seniors who are confined to minimal outside activity need to be helped to connect to other women and their community. Host winter garden parties in different women’s homes. Each hostess invites senior women to her home and provides refreshments and supplies for planting small indoor seedlings or plant-slips. Supplies such as potting soil, pots, rocks, gloves, plants, etc. are provided by women’s groups. Each hostess will need some helpers. Ask one woman to share her personal testimony. In addition to the plants, bookmarks or some other small gift (perhaps relating to seeds and planting) can be given to each woman attending. Use this winter garden to emphasize growing as a believer or growing into God’s love (if neighbors are not believers).
Free Stuff Giveaway
Distribute coupons for a free hamburger or combo meal at a local fast food place. Drive through inner-city areas or other places where the homeless congregate. Be sure the coupon can be redeemed close to the locale where you find the homeless.
Thrift Store Funds
This is a great project for your women’s ministry group! Determine how much money you want to allocate for this project. Choose a local thrift store and make arrangements with them to provide $5 gift coupons. Distribute them to homeless or needy women so they can “purchase” warm clothing, hats and gloves for winter wear. Be sure also to give the women information about your church. Provide info about when your women’s groups meet and extend an invitation to them to attend Bible studies.
Free Meals at Church
In London many churches open their doors for free lunches one or more days each week. Anyone can have a meal for free or with a donation if they can/choose. Volunteers cook the hot, nutritious meals and other volunteers mingle and interact with the diners. Lunch is the best time as there is daylight and no fear of being out in the dark. These meals could be offered to anyone in your church and to persons working in offices near your church. A great outreach ministry! Be sure to have brochures/flyers about your church and Bible studies, events and activities available for diners to take.
Retirement/Convalescent Home Visits
After the Christmas caroling and visiting are over, people stop visiting convalescent homes. It’s almost as if the residents only come to mind during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Home residents love seeing young people and children (even pets if approved!). Train a group of women in your church to share their faith as they visit with residents. They can write letters for them, read to them, or perhaps provide a monthly birthday celebration for ambulatory residents. All of these activities must be approved by home directors who usually welcome visitors.