When Discipling Children Remember the 3 “Be’s”

If you teach children, whether as a Sunday School teacher or a small group leader, you are a spiritual influence in the life of a child be it good or bad.

First, you should know that this makes you a hero in my book and to many others as well.

“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!” — Dwight L. Moody

You have the potential to influence the next generation to follow Christ, and while it is not all on us to do (thank God), you do bear some responsibility.

Use the following “Be” statements to get in the right mindset to serve the children in your church.

Be Prompt
We live in a rush-around-always-behind world, but being on time when you promise to serve in any volunteer position is essential. Even more so when it comes to serving children. I’ll tell you why.

When parents show up to your ministry area, and you are late, it makes them uncomfortable. They may not say as much, but they feel it.

Your tardiness makes your ministry feel unsafe. It makes parents think their children are not important to your church. It also stresses out your ministry leader.

Being late once in a while is life. No worries. Being late habitually makes you look like you do not care.

Be Prepared
When you have a lesson to teach, take some time during your week to familiarize yourself with it.

Your lesson, whether it is a curriculum from a publisher or written by someone in your church, is the product of prayer, thought and study. You honor that effort by putting in your own effort to present it as it was intended.

Skimming the lesson five minutes before the service starts does not prepare you to teach well. Even if you are a skilled teacher, you don’t know the nuances of every lesson.
More importantly, the time you spend skimming and cramming in the back of the room or in a hallway would be better spent connecting with the children, their parents and your fellow volunteers.

Most lessons are only a few pages long, so take a half hour during the week to study and pray over the lesson. This will make your teaching more effective and your service less stressful.

Be Present
Being prompt and prepared sets you up well for this last one. You cannot put a price on your influence in the life of a child. That is why making sure you are fully present in the moment is so important.

If the child has some news, like “I scored a goal in my soccer game” or “ I read about Jonah, it was really scary,” that is an opportunity for you to celebrate and encourage the child.

Get down on the child’s level, take a moment to look them in the eye. Ask them follow-up questions, such as what they learned from the story or how it felt to score that goal. Tell them how proud of them you are for spending time reading God’s word.

Be prompt, be prepared and be present, and watch God use you to make a difference in the life of the children.

This article originally appeared here.

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Jason TIlley
Jason Tilley founded Ministry Accelerator to equip church and non-profit leaders to navigate cultural complexity and experience fruitful ministry. Over the last 20 years, Jason served in multiple creative ministry roles from drama and video production, to children’s ministry and curricula, to innovation and digital design.