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Jonathan Kemp Director, Anglican Youth, Children & Families Ministry Anglican Church, Southern Queensland WWW.AYCF.ORG.AU. Social Action for Families. Outline. What? Why? How? What Now?. What is “Social Action”?. An umbrella heading for: Social Service activities (serving others)

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Jonathan Kemp

Director, Anglican Youth, Children & Families Ministry

Anglican Church, Southern Queensland


Social Action for Families

  • What?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • What Now?
what is social action
What is “Social Action”?
  • An umbrella heading for:
    • Social Service activities (serving others)
      • E.g. Feeding the hungry
      • Sheltering the homeless
      • Comforting the lonely
    • Social Justice activities (fighting for others’ rights)
      • E.g. Raising awareness of issues
      • Political protest
    • Missional activities (bringing Jesus to life for others; building God’s Kingdom on Earth)
      • Mission Trips
      • Service Projects (building schools, etc.)
why should christians do it
Why should Christians do it?

The Lord’s Prayer:

  • “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
the sermon on the mount
The Sermon on the Mount
  • Matthew 5-7
  • Matthew 25:31-46 (The Sheep and the Goats)
other sources reasons
Other sources / reasons?
  • We are God’s hands, feet, etc.
  • If we don’t, who will? (Ever seen an atheist soup kitchen?)
  • Traditions / denominations
research findings
Research findings
  • Research says it’s good for families:
    • Most kids who said they did at least an hour of service per week reported that their parents also did lots of service activities.
    • Makes ‘family time’ a priority
    • Reduces screen time
    • Builds and serves the community
    • Allows family members to see each other in a new light
    • Gives young people opportunity to lead
    • Stimulus to talk about and teach their values
making service projects worthwhile
Making Service Projects Worthwhile
  • “This is lame!”
  • Not if:
    • Young people do actual work, not just observe
    • Adults are accepting & don’t criticise
    • Kids have important responsibilities
    • Have a sense of making a contribution
    • Have the freedom to develop their own ideas
    • Have opportunity to reflect (debrief)
before we even get started
Before we even get started...
  • Think ‘Safety First!’
  • Legalities and policies...
  • Due diligence...
  • Risk Assessment...
  • Age / gender appropriate...
  • Blue Cards / Food handling / Cash handling / safe environment / etc...
how do we get started 1
How do we get started? (1)
  • Be clear about expectations and roles
    • (rotate the leadership)
  • Develop a cooperative atmosphere
    • (no-one likes having their work criticised)
  • Train families
    • (provide the right gear; use expert trainers)
how do we get started 2
How do we get started? (2)
  • Create meaningful projects and activities
    • (meet genuine needs; use ‘mentor families’)
  • Offer options in terms of commitment
    • (1-3 hour jobs? A week for those with more time?)
  • Debrief the experience
    • (have a discussion time; pluses and minuses of what happened)
supermarket stake out
Supermarket Stake-out!
  • (Let’s try this process out...)
  • 1. Expectations and roles
  • 2. Good atmosphere 
  • 3. Gear
  • 4. Meaningful
  • 5. Options
  • 6. Debrief
three levels for service
Three levels for Service
  • 1. Church
  • 2. Local Neighbourhood
  • 3. State / National / Global
you tell me local church
You tell me! Local Church
  • Some local Church projects that families could be engaged in:
social justice for families
Social Justice for Families
  • Real v. Realistic – realistic is OK.
  • Raising funds is a valid outcome
  • But education about the world is also important
  • Think about aligning with an agency (check its integrity etc)
  • Then decide which cause feels most deserving to you
  • No need to reinvent the wheel: look around at what other people are doing.
stimulate some discussion
Stimulate some discussion...
  • issue)
  • ‘Go Back Where You Came From’ (SBS)
  • Movies, TV, books... Talk about the issues (values). How should Christians respond?
start to start
Start to start...
  • 1. Determine greatest need (or your passion).
  • 2. Brainstorm lots of ways to help.
  • 3. Short list to 5 or 6 and look harder.
  • 4. Short list again to 2 or 3 and think about logistics.
  • 5. Pick one and do it!
make it intergenerational
Make it “Intergenerational”
  • Take existing service activities or mission trips, and ensure all ages are involved:
    • Food pantries and kitchens
    • Habitat for Humanity home building
    • Urban gardens to grow and distribute food
    • Yard work or home repair for homebound seniors
    • Leading worship or games at a retirement village
    • “Parents’ Night Out” (child-minding) for church or neighbourhood
intergenerational social action
Intergenerational Social Action
  • Baking bread and taking to shut-ins or new arrivals
  • Making cards and visiting a kids’ hospital, asking families what you can pray for
  • Graffiti / litter cleanup around your church neighbourhood
  • Intergenerational 40-hour famine
  • Sending care packs and letters to missionaries or deployed soldiers
ask if one person can do it
Ask: “If one person can do it...
  • Could a family be doing it?”
anticipating objections
Anticipating Objections
  • What could be some reasons for families not becoming involved in Service projects?
q does becoming involved in social action
Q: Does becoming involved in Social Action...
  • imply a particular political party or stance?
  • A: No.

Tony Campolo

Jim Wallis (shredded Bible)

Shane Claiborne

red letter christians
Red Letter Christians


Tim Costello

Jarrod McKenna

resource abigyear net
what now
What now?
  • Take a moment to reflect on:
  • What could you do to start taking Social Action,
  • or to
  • encourage
  • others to
  • start?
thanks and every blessing
Thanks and every blessing...
  • “They’ll know we are

Christians by our love.”

even more ideas
Even more ideas...

Jonathan Kemp

  • Email: [email protected]
  • (and see the Resource books available...)