As I prayed and reflected on 2018 in children’s ministry, I could not stop thinking, “Jesus came to serve, to teach and to show us the power of God.” Can you imagine a world filled with servant hearts? Am I teaching kids to be like Jesus?
It hit me that, yes, I am teaching them to know their awesome God and to see His power, but I’m not teaching them to serve. Why not? Well, kids do not want to serve, and I am trying to get them through the doors of the church building. Let me say that if this is you, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I would start again by making Bible class fun so kids learn best, retain more and want to bring their friends. A few years down the road and I am ready to help my kids grow through service, growing in spirit.
I do not know how this will go. It may be a complete bust, but I am ready to try. With God all things are possible, and I have to believe God will bless a work that trains his children to be his hands and feet. Of course, combining service work with some fun and reminding them of the value in what they are doing should help…I think.
I brainstormed some ways my kindergarten through fifth graders can serve. Here are some ideas I have come up with:
- Package meals to take to our sick
- Make cards, small gifts or take flowers to shut ins
- Package items needed at children’s homes, homeless shelters or others
- Invite kids from a children’s home for pizza and games
- Cards or care packages for missionaries
- Clean the sanctuary
- Paint happy stones with a Bible verse on one side and leave along a nature trail during our Spring Break nature walk
- Surprise staff, elders and teachers with treats (even for school teachers with a verse for encouragement)
This service work will be outside of Bible classes. I still believe kids need to learn who God is and what he expects of his people. Studying to know God is scriptural. Take the biblical account of King Josiah, for instance. While cleaning up and repairing the temple, the Book of Law that was given to Moses was found. When Josiah heard the words, he knew they had not kept the commandments. He had the words read aloud to the nation so they would know what God expected of them. They had been living in sin, apart from God, because they had poor leadership and did not know the word. We need to be strong leaders for our kids and share God’s amazing plan for us with them.
Please share your ideas, things you have tried or even just thought about. I would love to see a generation grow as servants of Christ. Kids growing up not thinking about how God would want them to “feel,” rather, kids choosing to live like Jesus. Wow!
This article originally appeared here.