2-3 Sections prior to this event, contact a local non-profit with clients who can benefit from having bagged lunches. Consider contacting agencies that focus on helping marginalized populations – the homeless, refugees, victims of domestic violence etc.
You will need long rectangular tables set up so that you can make an assembly line for the sandwich making and stuffing of the bags.
1 Thessalonians 5:15
“Always seek to do good to one another.”
This session focuses on “being Christ to others” and loving thy neighbor. Youth will work together to create a lunch for their fellow sisters and brothers, their neighbors who are in need. Youth will begin to understand Christ’s call to love thy neighbor.
Youth will leave youth group having put their faith into action. By reading the scripture and having their adult leaders explain that the action they took today is one small step to in “doing good to one another” they should have a greater appreciation for Jesus’ ministry of caring for the marginalized and vulnerable.
The Greatest Commandment Scriptures:
Key Theological Aspects
Gather [5 minutes]
Greeting One Another:
Ask a student leader to open in prayer (if possible). A sample prayer follows:
Gracious and loving God we are reminded through the lessons and words of your son Jesus Christ that we are called to share our love with others. Today, we ask that you bless the food we are about to prepare and the hearts of those who will receive these lunches. May they find comfort in our messages and peace in the knowledge that they are your beloved children. Amen.
Introducing the Session:
Tell youth that today they have an opportunity to provide care and love to others through a bagged lunch service project. In the scripture reading for the day, we are reminded that we are called to ALWAYS see the good in others and search for ways to love one another. That goes for those we don’t even know. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God; and the second is just as important, that we must love our neighbors as ourselves.
The enhancer of joy for this session is service. Most youth enjoy helping others, and giving back provides an even ground for youth to feel equal to their peers. There should be no competition in this activity. The inhibitor of joy is temptation. Youth sometimes struggle to not take the chips or cookies for themselves. Have a conversation with your group beforehand about the fact that today is about providing for those who do not have what we have, so as a result, resources and supplies are reserved for this project.
Work with your local non-profit to provide background and contextual information to the youth about who it is that they are making sandwiches for.
Engage [30 minutes]
Activity 1: Decorating Bags
Activity 2: Making the Sandwiches
Begin by having youth wash hands, put on hairnets, and gloves. Provide a tutorial of how to properly make a sandwich with care, instruct youth on exactly how many pieces of cheese and deli meat they should use. If you are making a lot of sandwiches, tell each youth how many they should make.
Activity 3: Assembly the Bags
Reflect [20 minutes]
Gather the group back in a large circle and have them share what they wrote or drew on their lunch bag. Why did they choose to do that? Have them explain why they think someone would want to hear that message.
Debrief [5 minutes]
Gather the group in a large circle surrounding the lunch bags and ask a member of the youth group to say a prayer over the lunches.
This resource includes supplementary materials:
Introduction for Leaders