Mission Project: KAIROS Cookies, made at home

Do you try to do everything WITH THE KIDS?

Don’t be selfish. Mom and dad want to experience the love of Christ as the body of Christ with their child, too. Sometimes they could use a suggestion.Sometimes that’s all you need to do as a leader. Invite families to do something.

Do you know how your church participates in missions?

Encourage your children and families to become involved in those things that already exist.

  • You’ll foster community within your congregation by working together.
  • You’ll have built in help. Ask a ministry leader/participant to join you for the children’s activity.
  • And you’ll create traditions. Everyone (not just the children, but their families, too) appreciate knowing that “we do this at this time every year – or month.”

A group of men at Church of the Apostles participates in a prison ministry called Kairos and they need cookies for their weekend. All I do is make this announcement to our families –

Bring ziplock bags of homemade cookies for prisoners.

And things like the following happen at home. Here’s an excerpt from an article written by one of our moms.

– from 11/2009

My younger son loves being good.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that he is good all the time. It’s just that he likes the idea of being good, he likes the way being good makes him feel, and he likes for other people to think of him as a good boy.

Actually, the more I think about it, he’s not so different from the rest of us.

We all like to think of ourselves as good. We like the way being good makes us feel, and we like for other people to think of us as good, too.

Of course, as Christians, we understand that isn’t really true.

We’re not good, in and of ourselves. And any goodness we have in our lives is purely a gift of God’s grace.

Recently, through a prison ministry called Kairos, I was given a beautiful opportunity to talk with my 6-year-old son about grace in a way he could understand.

You see, Kairos is, on the surface, a fairly simple ministry.

Kairos is an interdenominational Christian prison ministry that tells the story of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness through letters and cookies. Letters and cookies are something that everyone can understand, especially a little boy.

After his Sunday School class spent the morning preparing cookies and writing letters, my son came to me and said, “We’re making cookies for prisoners!”

“Oh, wow! What a neat thing to do,” I said.

“Well, we’re making them for prisoners, but I think it’s only for the good ones. You know, the ones that didn’t really do anything bad, but the police just put them in jail by accident.”

“No, honey. These cookies are for prisoners who really did do something bad. Some of them probably did some really, really, really bad things. But the cookies are to show them God loves them.”

“But if they did something bad, then they shouldn’t get cookies, right?”

“Well, no. Remember how Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins? That was for everybody. All they have to do is ask for forgiveness, even if they are in jail. And that’s what these cookies will show them.”

And this simple, life-changing truth is what the people at Kairos share with inmates all the time. And, for so many inmates, Kairos is their first real exposure to the love of Christ.

More on Kairos

Mission Project: Cooking for Homeless

Do you know how your church participates in missions?

Encourage your children and families to become involved in those things that already exist.

  • You’ll foster community within your congregation by working together.
  • You’ll have built in help. Ask a ministry leader/participant to join you for the children’s activity.
  • And you’ll create traditions. Everyone (not just the children, but their families, too) appreciate knowing that “we do this at this time every year – or month.”

Church of the Apostles partners with Streetside Ministries to serve a meal to area homeless on Monday nights. CLUB45 (4th/5th grade) has made casseroles, hot dogs, and burritos. Think assembly style food prep. We’ve also made desserts when the entire meal seemed too much to undertake.

See one of my emailed recaps to parents to hear what we experienced during a CLUB45 Mission Cooking Night.

(September 2012)

Parents (and Mission Team,)

What a great time last night at CLUB45!
Thanks to Shannon for sharing with us and directing us in the kitchen. Shannon, you’re made to work with this group. Hope to see you again with them.
Thanks to many of you who sent ingredients – totaling approx $100 in costs.
Here’s a little recap of our night:
1) Gathered in parlor. That’s a nice room! Did not realize how much kids that age talk (especially girls!) Lots of talking.
2) Introduced ourselves and shared a favorite food (since we were going to be cooking.) Some sweet answers. Shannon, remember you promised that you’d forward the “baked oatmeal” recipe to moms.
3) Shannon shared about her experience with Streetside Ministry and Apostles’ relationship with that group and her past experiences cooking for them. She shared some practicalities of why people are homeless, how we can best help the homeless by sometimes giving things like food not money, that the Bible says there will always be poor people, etc. Again, great discussion.
4) We looked at our recipe that we were about to cook and wrote down the approximate cost of making it and talked about how money comes in to play when we decide how we individually – and even as a church – can “do missions.”
EX: I might really want to cook for the homeless but I probably will not be able to cook for them every Monday that Streetside goes out because that would cost $400-$500 a month – even with the good shopping habits that some of you demonstrated. We were blunt about shopping at Piggly Wiggly and buying the store brand, finding things on sale at Publix, shopping at Aldi, using coupons, etc.
We also heard how much time it takes Mrs. Shannon if she is going to cook this meal by herself – how you have to have several pots going at one time to fit the 7 boxes of noodles in to cook – browning the meat if you add meat – basically that it takes her a whole day!
5) We prayed the Lord’s Prayer and I mentioned how it says, “give us this day our daily bread.”
6) We assembled the casseroles in the kitchen. We did. We really did. It was a little chaotic with three groups each assembling a casserole, but I think they had fun.
The casseroles are in the freezer and will be thawed/cooked for distribution on Monday, 8 October.
I think they enjoyed the fellowship and I believe they learned something about the hows/whys/cost in time and money of participating in Streetside Ministries. Children’s Ministry is signed up to do the meal again in February – maybe we will find a time other than Tuesday night to cook so others can participate.
Blessings,  (I was blessed!)
Melanie