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Tony Brooks: Inreach and Outreach at Thanksgiving

Posted: 10/24/18 at 11:20am. Post by Tony Brooks.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

What are some ways Sunday School Classes/small groups can provide inreach and outreach around the Thanksgiving holiday? Here are some ideas:

  1. Children, youth, and adults can make/send cards. Holidays can be difficult for persons in the hospital, people who are homebound, residents of nursing homes, and persons who are grieving. Make plans to color pictures (email me if you want to know more about a Children’s Coloring Ministry Team at brooks@bgav.org). Children love to color. Why not provide some Thanksgiving pictures for them to color and give to people facing tough times? Have everyone sign cards from the class and send to people needing encouragement during the holiday.
  2. Set up a time to visit with a homebound church member for dinner. You provide the meal, but you eat together. Hear their stories about joining the church, dreams for the church, and other things they want to talk about.
  3. Make a video of homebound and nursing-home members. (If you get permission, ask them if you can record a message to send back to your class/small group. You could even use Facebook Live or many other options.) You may want to share the recording with the entire church. In two previous churches I visited several homebound members and recorded what they were thankful for. I shared the video the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Everyone was inspired and thankful! 
  4. Find a way to serve others around Thanksgiving. Reverend Jerry Stanfield at Childrey Baptist in Nathalie got the Golden Skillet Restaurant in Brookneal to open on Thanksgiving Day! The owner was impressed with the idea and pays their cooks and for half of the Thanksgiving buffet. Childrey Baptist and a few other churches serve the customers with drinks and desserts. My family had the privilege of serving one year. We met an older couple whose Social Security check was about gone that month. They would not have had a Thanksgiving meal without this free option! (Donations are accepted for those who can pay.) Many people have no family members with whom to share Thanksgiving.

Most of us are so blessed in many ways, while others struggle during the holidays. Let me know how you encourage others during these times. Giving thanks in all circumstances requires us who are blessed to provide for those who need a blessing!

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is our Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org. Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7