This service project can be done throughout the year as schools and students often need new supplies. It also serves as a great way to talk with your group about showing mercy to others.
Get a list of needed supplies from a local school. If they do not have one readily available, consider having at least one group member meet with the principal to ask about the school's needs. Then purchase the needed supplies and backpacks to put the supplies in. You may want to divide up the supplies between group members or ask for donations from local stores.
As you are packing backpacks with school supplies, discuss experiences of mercy.
- When was the last time you helped a complete stranger?
- What was the risk? The reward?
- How would you define mercy?
- Do you know someone with the gift of mercy? What does that look like in their lives?
When the group is done filling the backpacks, study Jude 20-23.
What word is repeated three times in verses 21-23? How does Jude say we can build ourselves up (verse 20), and what do you think this means?
Who was this letter written to, and what were the circumstances? What does it mean to "keep yourselves in God's love" (verse 21)? Why is it important to keep ourselves in God's love? How is mercy connected to God's love? How can we show mercy while "hating" (verse 23)?
Who showed you mercy before you became a Christian and how did that make you feel? In what ways have you been merciful this past week? What are the issues today that cause people to doubt God (verse 22)? Name two people in your life you can show mercy to this week. How might your act of mercy introduce them to Christ?
Close by thanking God for his mercy, praying for the children who will receive your backpacks of mercy, and reading the benediction in Jude 25.