Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer
to discover how fun it can be to serve others!
This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!
Adventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow. This post is the first of a series of 3 Adventures in Odyssey posts that will show how Adventures in Odyssey's themes of Discover, Imagine & Grow relate to your family!
Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable. At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before. In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.
We have tried to instill servant hearts into our children at early ages. We want them to not only realize how blessed they are but also realize how they can be a blessing to others. The Bible teaches that we be servants to others (even those we don't like!). Every time our children have had the opportunity to serve by the end of it, they want to do it again or make sure we sign up to do that next year! The past few years, the kids have participated in parades in our town by walking with our church and handing out candy & invitations to church, they help us with Trunk or Treat at Halloween at our church as we pass out candy & tracts to children that come, we make and pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and they have even had the opportunity to serve meals to people in our community as well. Last August, we moved 18 hours from home to become a full-time missionary family. We have dedicated our lives to serving unreached people groups - those who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ and have no access to the gospel or Bibles in their language. We are currently completing a 2 year training program before we move overseas to live and serve. Lord willing, our children will have many different types of opportunity to serve throughout our time as a missionary family. You can read more about our family's mission work on our missions website.
No matter where you are in life, there are always opportunities to serve someone and I challenge you to keep your eyes open for those and then see how you can include your children in them.
How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:
Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at whitsend.org. At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador.
A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent! The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at whitsend.org/acts. You don’t want to miss it!
Adventures in Odyssey also has some great freebies your family can enjoy as well. You can listen to a downloadable MP3 file of Adventure in Odyssey's "Service" episode here or check out a PDF download chocked full of summer service ideas for kids!
Disclaimer: I wrote this post on behalf of Adventures in Odyssey and Tyndale. I received Adventures in Odyssey Our Favorites in exchange for an honest review. No monetary compensation was received. All views and opinions are of my own and your results/opinions may vary from mine.