Most churches are clamoring to find out the newest exciting thing to offer the kids. After all, if the kids like church, they’re parents will come back, too. Or, so the thinking goes. But, what if we flipped the script? Maybe instead of enticing kids to just have fun, we give them a head start on serving.
The foundations of faith that are established in kids at an early age shape the rest of their lives. What better value to instill in the hearts and minds of our young people than a willingness and desire to serve the Body?
Serving is an essential part in the life of a disciple. Jesus modeled it. The early church normalized it. And, Christians around the world continue to transform their communities through their love, expressed in serving. It’s time we get our kids involved!
Some of the benefits of getting kids serving early are:
- Bonding experiences with whole families serving together
- Seeing the impact their contributions make, lending a sense of worth
- Fun memories and unique experiences
- Meeting different types of people who can help shape their worldview
- Becoming more like Jesus, living out love
Getting kids involved requires a shift of the culture and thinking of your church. You’ll need to teach on it, model it, encourage it, and celebrate it. Pretty soon, bringing the kids along will seem more like an opportunity than a hassle.
There are a lot of ways the kids can start serving, such as:
- Visiting nursing homes or hospitals to cheer people up
- Running errands or doing chores for church members in need
- Serving at a local shelter or food bank (make sure to comply with food handling codes)
- Writing follow-up post cards for other kids who’ve recently visited
- Cleaning the church or setting up (if you’re a mobile church)
These are just a few of many ways. Be creative and discover how your kids can make an impact in your church. The rewards of serving – for the kids, the parents, and those being served – will far outweigh any effort that planning these opportunities takes.
Get your kids on the right path to becoming disciples of Christ by establishing a strong value for serving. They’ll thank you for it someday.