The R.O.I.L. Family
Pathfinders become secret members of the R.O.I.L Family
(Reaching Out In Love) and perform progressive acts of service to Church members, who then become part of the ROIL family and assist with future ventures.
Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:
- Express care for others through an act of service
- Practice kindness
- Work together as a team to reach a goal
Colossians 3: 23, 24Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
“Long ago, a band of minstrels lived in a faraway land. They travelled from town to town singing and playing their music in hopes of making a living. They had not been doing well financially, however. Times were hard and the common people had little money to spend on concerts even though their fee was small.
The group met one evening to discuss their plight. ‘I see no reason for opening tonight,’ one said. ‘It’s snowing and no one will come out on a night like this.’
Another said, ‘I agree. Last night we performed for just a handful. Even fewer will come tonight.’
The leader of the troupe responded, ‘I know you are discouraged. I am too, but we have a responsibility to those who might come. We will go on, and we will do the best job that we are capable of doing. It is not the fault of those who come that others do not. They should not be punished with less than our best.’
Heartened by his words, the minstrels gave their best performance ever. After the show, the old man called his troupe to him again. In his hand was a note, handed to him by one of the audience members just before the doors closed behind him. Slowly the man read, ‘Thankyou for a beautiful performance.’ It was signed simply, ‘Your King.’ ” 1
Our efforts should always be for the King. It is really to Him that we give our gifts.
- Use the R.O.I.L. Family Membership Certificate template in the Appendix and make enough copies for one for each Pathfinder. Fill in their name, roll them into a scroll and tie them with gift-wrap ribbon.
- To fully capture the mood of the opening part of the Pursuit, call on someone as the ‘Medieval Court Announcer’ who can really role-play the part with immense ceremony and style! It will prove more effective if they can stay in ‘role’ – and so much the better if they can be dressed for the part! They will need to be briefed about their part and given all the ROIL Family Membership Certificates.
- Blank R.O.I.L. Family Certificates (See Appendix A)
- R.O.I.L. Family Gift tags (See Appendix B)
- Miscellaneous gift items as selected by the Pathfinders
- Whiteboard or butchers paper for planning schedule
- Gift-wrap ribbon
- Medieval Court Music on tape or CD (Optional)
- Wrapping materials: cellophane, tissue paper (black looks great with ivy painted gold as a trim), raffia for tying etc
- Plain card for creating gift tags (Computer generated messages will maintain anonymity and look professional)
1. Call the Pathfinders together and begin to talk to them about mundane issues and planning schedules for the next few meetings. Have the Medieval Court Announcer interrupt proceedings and announce that he has a number of special issues from the King. (Play the medieval court music in the background if available). He then proceeds to read out a copy of a ROIL Family Membership Certificate. He distributes these certificates to all Pathfinder participants and then explains the roles and responsibilities of membership. Share how the King wishes them to embark on a secret mission, it being to assist Him attaining His purpose of reaching out to His entire kingdom in Love
(Hence R.O.I.L: Reaching Out In Love).
ROIL Family Membership Roles and Responsibilities include:
- Absolute secrecy as to the identity of the R.O.I.L. Family
- Unconditional support of all R.O.I.L. Family ‘missions’
- Fulfilment of all responsibilities designated to each R.O.I.L. Family member on each mission
ROIL Family Membership Rewards include:
- A warm feeling born of knowing you have made another person glow
- The satisfaction of knowing you have served another, and in doing so, you have served Christ
- The contentment that comes from knowing the love you’ve shown can change lives for the better
- The happiness that comes from knowing that your selfless deed may have an eternal result.
- The insight that what you give to others has been known to come back to you down the track.
2. Outline the plan for the R.O.I.L. family members’ ventures. As a whole group or as smaller groups, they are to plan a love gift for someone in their church community who needs a lift because of loneliness, sickness or grief. They are to make whatever is required (based on a brainstormed list created by them) and deliver it anonymously with a small gift tag which simply says “With Love from the ROIL Family”. You may like to deliver a number of gifts to the same person on consecutive days or weeks. After a number of these gifts have been distributed to a variety of members, send another note (some weeks later) which invites them to a ROIL Family Celebration (at a venue decided by you. Much speculation will undoubtedly build up as to the identity of the ROIL Family.)
3. Plan the ROIL Family Celebration as a Friday evening get-together with all the recipients of your love gifts. (Arrange for transportation if required – blindfold them of course to increase the suspense!) Prepare light refreshments and finger food (prepared by the Pathfinders) and share a special worship together. (Something on the theme of active love would be pertinent). Encourage the Pathfinders to lead out in this worship experience. Give all those in attendance the ROIL Family Certificate of Appreciation (Appendix B) thanking them for being a part of our lives and honouring them as a member of God’s Royal Family.
NB. Reinforce to the participants how important it will be for them to show friendship and interest to those they have invited. Nothing will be achieved by them inviting them and then ignoring them!
Possible Love Gifts will obviously relate to the age and gender of the recipient but may include:
- Basket of home-made biscuits, slices, sweets
- Inspirational thoughts written on paper, scrolled and presented well in a box or basket
- Colouring Books (For children)
- Soaps appropriately packaged
- Second hand books
- A loaf of home-made bread
- Bottles of home-made lemonade (ie. lemon, sugar, water)
- Telephone Book Covers – made and decorated by the Pathfinders
Brainstorm with the Pathfinders to extend this list or take it in a different direction!
Optional: You may like to invite the visitors to become members of the ROIL Family and assist you with further ‘missions’, thus extending the circle of influence and love of the ‘Family’. (Hours counted for the Pursuit will be determined by the number of missions and gatherings).
4. After the final gathering of the ROIL Family, initiate the debriefing with these thoughts:
“A young boy wrote a letter to Mother Teresa. He asked her how he could make a difference with his life, like she had with hers. For months he didn’t hear anything from her. Then one day he received a letter from Calcutta, India. He expectantly opened it up and read four words that changed his life. ‘Find your own Calcutta.’ Mother Teresa.” 2
So what can you do now? Find a different mission? A different cause? A different need filled?
Divide into groups and ask each group to paraphrase 1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 6.
Come together. Read the NIV version and then each group’s paraphrase of the text.
1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 (NIV)
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”
5. Ask the Pathfinders to look up the texts listed in Biblical References and read them in a modern version. Discuss the meaning of each one.
6. Debriefing questions.
Close with Prayer.
Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit.
Select from the questions below:
- How did you feel as you delivered the packages?
- What was the best part of this Pursuit?
- What was the worst part?
- What surprises did it hold for you?
- How did you feel about this activity before you began it?
- Did your feelings change as you proceeded? If so, how?
- What things happened that led to this change in your feelings?
- What have you learned about yourself?
- Has this activity changed you in any way? If so, how?
- How did the reactions of those who received gifts affect you?
- What service venture could you initiate on your own which could better the lives of others around you?
- Is it important that we be involved in such acts of service? How important?
- What might stop you from doing such a thing?
- What could you do this week?
1. “Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang your Message On” General Editor, Jim Burns Compiler, Greg McKinnin (1997) Gospel Light, USA. p125
2. Ibid. p159
ROIL Family Membership Certificate
Multiple copies of the following graphics have been rendered for your photocopying convenience under ‘Handouts’ below.
ROIL Family Gift Tag