A Note from Kelly King: In today’s article, Lauren Sparks gives us some great practical ways to serve and celebrate others during the holiday season. I hope you’ll take a moment to choose at least one of these ideas or add a new one to the comments!
It is my favorite time of the year! I love when the temperature cools down, football is the topic of conversation, and all the fun festive things begin to happen. I have seen October through December bring unity in ways that the summer heat cannot. Turkey, tinsel, and time around the table is good. It can be easy to allow this season to be one that swiftly goes by due to responsibilities and year end deadlines, but I want to encourage you to take a moment to leverage this season to love and serve with those you lead as well as their people.
As a team, you are behind one mission and that is the mission of your organization. If you have been on a mission experience before, you know that there is a connection that you make with those you serve that is different than other relationships. When you see them in the halls at church or in the cereal aisle at the grocery, you can’t help but engage with them and flashback to all the memories. Don’t we all crave making a difference? As we lead into this holiday season, I want to challenge each of us to serve with our team members, getting them out of their comfort zones and allowing them to unify together for a cause that is bigger than themselves. This will create a new strand of unity with those you lead.
This season, we can lead those around us, whether it’s in our Bible study, workplace, or homes, by celebrating and serving. Here are some fun, festive ways to engage and serve not only with those you lead and your teams, but also the people they love.
1. Thanksgiving Basket.
There are many families this season who will have an empty table because they will not have the means to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Gather those around the office or your Bible study and create a Thanksgiving Dinner Basket for a family, complete with items such as a gift card for the turkey, a box of stuffing, vegetables, all the pie ingredients, and whatever you think should be on one’s Thanksgiving table. You can create a sign-up list and pass it around the office. Ask your church or a local school for a family in need that you can serve.
Host your team and their families for a “Friendsgiving.” It is so important for teams to get out of the work place and spend time together to build unity. The beauty of inviting the families is you get to know the people who love those you lead, allowing for greater trust and community to grow. You don’t need to feel the stress of providing all the things for the meal. Divide up the responsibility and spend time talking about what are you thankful for rather than all that needs to be done.
3. Operation Christmas Child.
Commit as a team to create boxes for Operation Christmas Child. You can set a goal for how many you would like to pack or divide up items for a box to sponsor together.
4. Adopt a Child.
Connect with your church or local school to make Christmas possible for a family in need. As a team, raise the funds or collect gifts to bless the children. Allow the group you are leading to be focused on more that just the task that is their job; it’s also about serving the community that your company or church is impacting.
5. Christmas Gathering.
I know you are thinking, well of course, Lauren! I just don’t want you to miss this opportunity to leverage the gospel in your workplace. Think of a fun way to love those you lead and their families by feeding them and celebrating the birth of Jesus. For the children, consider having a table with coloring placemats that are centered around the Christmas story.
6. Change the Setting.
Change the office around to represent the season. Add fun festive things that can be points of conversation for the gospel such as a list of things you are thankful for, a mini Christmas tree, stockings for each team member with encouraging notes, invitations to church Christmas gatherings, and Christmas music that is Christ centered. Allow your environment to be fun and inviting for laughter and celebration.
For those individuals in your circle of influence that you have been praying God would make Himself known to, let’s leverage this time of year to celebrate the meaning of this season and serve others as a way to guide them to Jesus.
Lauren is the Operations Lead for her family’s custom in-ground pool company. She found her passion for organization, processes, and development while serving the women of her church by developing small groups and creating gatherings that last longer than just one event. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in organizational communication. She loves coffee, her journal, and a good ink pen. Along with food, flowers, and football, her passion is to mentor girls how to fall madly in love with Jesus.