Welcome to Ministry Monday. Today’s post is the first in series called Simple Service – easy ideas for taking care of your church family one act of kindness at a time. Take my Simple Service Challenge this month and post your pics to Facebook & Instagram with the #simpleservice hashtag!
Hey, Mom! When you hear your pastor’s call to missional living, don’t be so fast to count yourself out!
Yes, having kids in tow can make participating in ministry outreach events difficult. I’m probably not the only mother who’s wondered how she can ensure the kids won’t run into the street while she’s operating the spin art machine or painting faces at the fall festival.
Typically my husband and I tag-team special missions events hosted by our church because one pair of eyes always needs to be trained on our five-year-old “twin-adoes.” (Trust me. It’s a safety precaution for everyone involved). Or sometimes, as a mom, I’m self-relegated to the home-front so the hubsters can do the heavy lifting that often comes with church planting.
But just because mothers can’t always be front and center for church service, doesn’t mean we can’t be missional right where we are. Some of the biggest and most appreciated acts of service that I’ve ever been on the receiving end of haven’t even occurred within the church walls.
They’ve come in the form of homemade bread, hearty spaghetti sauce, and warm chocolate chip cookies made by precious hands after the birth of the twins. They’ve come in the form of a delicious meal lovingly delivered the week we moved into a new home.
Friends from my church in San Antonio delivered meals to us for weeks after the twins were born! Our church wasn’t large, and I’m sure the sacrifice was great to do so. When we moved into our new home in Pittsburgh, friends from our new church surprised us with a coconut chicken dish that I still dream about – and stayed to enjoy it with us! It was such a blessing!
Service can be simple. In a day of takeout and dining out, sharing a meal with a family in need or under pressure can be a profound statement of God’s love. That means moms can make a difference and be ‘on mission’ right from their home.
These small acts of service have a big impact on others by filling a critical need – caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ. So, Mom, the next time you think you’re relegated to the kiddie pool while everyone else is diving into the real work of ministry, put on your missional eyes and consider this simple way you can serve your church.
This weekend, I heard a church friend was moving. So, I prepped and delivered my standard new mom/new move meal: honey glazed chicken thighs, rice, salad and dessert. It’s easy, tried and true, and makes a bunch! You can find the original recipe below from the freezer cookbook team Susie Martinez and Vanda Howell who wrote their series, Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer.
Honey-glazed Chicken Thighs7lb. of chicken thighs on the bone, skin removed1 1/2 c. honey3/4 c. butter1/2c. prepared mustard1T. curry powder2 tsp. saltSTEP 1: Combine honey, butter, mustard, curry powder and salt in medium saucepan. Cook, stirring over medium heat until all the ingredients dissovle into a smooth sauce, about 3 min. Cool sauce and set aside. STEP 2: While sauce is cooling, rinse and divide chicken evenly among freezer bags. Divide cooled sauce evenly over the chicken. Seal and freeze. TO COOK: thaw one entree in refrigerator just long enough to remove from the freezer bag with sauce. Preheat the oven to 350. Place frozen chicken in an ungreased baking dish. Bake for 45 min. Remove dish from oven and separate ck pieces into a single layer, placing pieces meaty side down to keep moist. Bake 1.5 hours.
If I’m only feeding a few, I half the recipe and cook immediately without freezing the portions. I cook for 45 minutes with pieces face down in the pan. Then I flip the meat right side up, so the tops get brown and crispy (typically for another 15 minutes or more until finished cooking). To help with browning you can always broil the tops for a few minutes at the end. But watch carefully so they don’t burn!
I love to serve this meal with basamati rice (using a little chicken broth for the water and adding a stick of celery if I have it.)
Taking a meal to a church family member is a simple way to serve them. It can also be a great way to reach out to new neighbors in your community!
Want to take the Simple Service Challenge with me? Here are my recipes in case you want to try it! Or use one of your own tried and true missional meals. Take a pic when you do and share it on Facebook or instagram with the hashtag: #simpleservice!
Have you been blessed by a missional meal? Share your story in the comments and I just might feature you in this series!