Encourage Forward Summer Challenge

Join together with your family to serve others! Use the categories below to find suggested ways you can perform different acts of service as a family. Once your family has completed an act of service, parents can take their kids out for ice cream, dinner, or another fun excursion to celebrate!

Perform random acts of kindness
  • Hold the door open for a stranger.
  • Compliment three people today.
  • Help a family member with household chores.
  • Let someone go in front of you in line.
  • Surprise someone with treats.
  • Write your parents a sweet note or draw them a picture.
  • Leave a bag of goodies in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
  • Pick up litter and throw it away. Don’t forget to throw away your own trash!
  • Look for someone sitting alone at school or at church. Genuinely ask them how they are doing and talk to them.
Care for your neighbors
  • Leave notes of encouragement in their mailbox.
  • Write positive messages in sidewalk chalk around your neighborhood.
  • Surprise a neighbor with flowers or treats for their pet.
  • Invite neighbors with kids to Creation Station or the outdoor playground at Bellevue.
  • Bake cookies for them. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself if you have never met.
  • Start a Little Free Library in your yard.
  • Invite them over for a meal.
  • Bring in their garbage cans from the street.
Love on your church family
  • Pray for church leadership
  • Invite someone to sit with you at church or Life Group.
  • Open doors for other attendees.
  • Tell church staff members and leaders that you appreciate them.
  • Volunteer in the nursery.
  • Surprise your Life Group teacher with treats.
  • Tell others good morning.
  • Volunteer as a family to be door greeters.
Show kindness to the elderly
  • Send older relatives a card just to let them know you’re thinking about them.
  • Help a senior by returning their empty grocery cart to the store.
  • On a rainy day offer to escort an older adult to his or her car with an umbrella.
  • Surprise an elderly neighbor with a home-cooked or home-baked item.
  • Offer to go grocery shopping for an older friend or neighbor.
  • Help a senior by doing their yard work, planting flowers, or washing their car.
  • Visit a retirement community, senior center, or nursing home and ask the director to pair you with a resident who would enjoy a pen pal or a visitor.
  • Volunteer to take an older person to church who no longer drives.
Thank first responders
  • Say, “Thank you for your service,” when you see a first responder.
  • Drop off Gatorade or water at your local fire station.
  • Buy some 100 Grand candy bars and deliver them to a police or fire station with a note that says “You are worth way more than 100 Grand! Thank you for your service.”
  • Buy a first responder’s lunch or coffee when you see them out.
  • Send handwritten notes or cards expressing your gratitude to local fire and police stations.
  • Make care packages for firefighters or police officers in your neighborhood.
  • Decorate a first responder’s mailbox or the sidewalk in front of their house to say thank you.
  • Organize a cookie drive. Have each of your friends bring a batch of cookies, and enjoy delivering cookies and saying thank you to your local firefighters and police officers together.
Support foster kids and families
  • Join a WRAP team. Bellevue’s WRAP Ministry assembles teams to support foster families at Bellevue. Visit bellevue.org/pathways for more information.
  • Send notes of appreciation to employees at your local Department of Children’s Services (DCS) office.
  • Drop off snacks at your local DCS office, where foster children wait for placement.
  • Spend a few hours gathering new or gently used clothing or toys to donate to a local foster care nonprofit like Isaiah 117 House.
  • Drop off a meal to a foster family.
  • Invite a foster family over for dinner or a playdate.
  • Help a foster family with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, yard work, or household chores.
  • Provide respite care for a foster parent.
  • Gather supplies for foster families. They can foster children of varying ages and genders over time. Help take a load off by providing for some of their needs (e.g., diapers, baby gates, backpacks, school supplies).
  • If you know a family who is fostering, make a fun kit to celebrate a foster child’s birthday.
Uplift the homeless
  • Make toiletry bags to hand out to homeless individuals as you encounter them.
  • Keep water and snacks in the car to give to those in need.
  • Have the kids do chores to earn money to donate to a homeless shelter or nonprofit.
  • Serve together at Memphis Union Mission. Every week they have Family Friday Nights!
  • Have a coat drive in your neighborhood and donate your collection to a homeless shelter. Collect toiletries and donate them to an organization that serves the homeless population.
  • Bake cookies, cakes, or pies for a homeless shelter.
  • Did you purchase too many pizzas for a birthday party? Head downtown and hand them out to those in need.
Encourage single moms and widows
  • Write a note of encouragement or send them a handwritten card.
  • Have a single mom’s kids over for a playdate.
  • Make fun gift bags for a single mom and/or her kids.
  • Take a meal to a single mom or widow, or send them a gift card for a meal.
  • Help them with yard work or household chores.
  • Share your kids’ hand-me-downs with a single mom. Let your kids help gather the clothes and toys to donate.
  • Take a family trip to the grocery store and leave a bag of groceries on the doorstep of a single mom or widow.
  • Help them with home repairs.
  • Include a single mom’s kids in your carpooling group.

Encouraging resources for your family

Bellevue has resources available to encourage you forward in prayer, discipleship, spiritual warfare, and more. May our church be a body of believers who use the gifts God has given them and live life beyond themselves. Use the resources below or pick them up in the Encourage Forward centers in the East and West lobbies.

Bible Resources

How to read the Bible and get the most out of it

Daily Devotionals

Spending time with God each day

Discipleship

Becoming more like Jesus in a community

Leadership

Discover the tools you need to lead

My Next Steps

Show me how to grow in my faith

Prayer

How to communicate with God

Spiritual Warfare

Gather the weapons you need to fight back

Love Does

Take action by loving others

How To Forgive

Embracing forgiveness even when it hurts

How To Build a Deeper Marriage

Loving and understanding your spouse in a biblical way

Walking Through a Hard Season

Verses and resources to give you strength

Scripture Cards

Life is hard. You may need encouragement, or you may know someone else who does. Stop by one of the Encourage Forward centers and pick up packets of Scripture cards. Use them to pray God’s Word over yourself or a loved one. Or take a set to give away and encourage forward. 

Check out the examples below!

Verses on Healing

Pray these verses back to the Lord and rest in the truth of their words.

Jeremiah 17:14

“Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Psalm 119:50

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has revived me.”

Verses for Your Family

Pick up physical cards with these and other encouraging prayers at our Encourage Forward centers.

Prayer for your family

Holy Spirit, help us to be more intentional in living out mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, and peace. Grow Your fruit in us so that when the world sees us, they see more of Jesus.

Verses

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:12–14

Prayer for your family

Father, thank You for guiding my family. Even when we fall or take a wrong turn, remind us You are still holding us close.

Verses

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23–24

Prayer for your family

Father, give my family the desire to seek You first, before everything else. Help us put You before our schedules, our jobs, our to-do lists, our worries, and our dreams.

Verse

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Let’s do this!

Taking inspiration from the legacy of Tim Shelton, Bellevue’s late Pastor of Groups Leadership and Family Life, we want to empower our church to do the things God has called them to do in 2024. Click the link below to learn more.