Teaching Kids to Serve – Emeott
I believe that the Bible is for all people, not just adults but kids, too. And while we need to be sensitive to age-appropriate opportunities, James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.” Our role in Kids Ministry is not to simply teach but to help kids understand the importance of doing and becoming doers.
There are examples throughout Scripture of kids serving and ministering to others. First Samuel 16 tells of a shepherd boy ministering to a distraught king. Second Kings 5 documents a slave girl ministering to her skin diseased master. Second Kings 22 tells of the boy king who leads his people well and John 6 is a favorite Bible story about a boy who ministers to thousands of hungry people.
The Great Commission tells believers (all believers) to be witnesses and go and minister. Consider ways kids can serve independently or with little supervision. Give assignments and let them serve. Other opportunities require supervision and lend best to service with peers and leaders. Don’t forget families. Families serving together create great opportunities for parents to teach missional living. Identify needs and share those needs with families.
Acts 1:8 gives some direction: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Most of you will realize the geography associated with this passage. Start where you are and move from there. Establish the three classifications mentioned above: Independent, Supervised Groups, and Families, and get started.
KIDS CAN MINISTER IN THEIR JERUSALEM (THE LOCAL COMMUNITY)
Pick up your local newspaper and you’ll be overwhelmed with ministry opportunities. From the front page through the sports section there are opportunities to show the love of God. Sympathy cards to the bereaved and congratulations to the newlywed and local heroes. From 5Ks and apple festivals to high school sports games and local first responders appreciation opportunities. Your church needs to be on mission in the mission field it’s been placed and your Kids Ministry needs to be a part.
KIDS CAN MINISTER IN THEIR JUDEA (THE REGION & STATE)
Move past your cities limits and the opportunities to lead kids to serve expands. How can kids be involved in ministering to Judea? How can kids be involved in taking God’s love to your state? What opportunities can you identify that gets outside the comfort zone of your community and ministers to those close-by but not next door? Check with your local association or your state convention of like-minded churches for ideas.
KIDS CAN MINISTER IN THEIR SAMARIA (NORTH AMERICA)
For those of us who live in the United States, opportunities for service across North America are advertised nightly on the evening news. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes just to mention a few. When you hear the nightly reports do you hear opportunities to involve your kids? What can they do individually? What could a Kids Bible Study class do? What might families join together to accomplish?
KIDS CAN MINISTER TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (INTERNATIONALLY)
More and more our globe is getting smaller and smaller. Communicating with people halfway across the world is as easy as calling across town. Don’t limit your ministry reach to the US. Think globally and how you can lead kids to make a difference in Jesus’ name in Africa or Eastern Europe. What could kids do to share the love of Jesus in Asia? Start with international organizations like Operation Christmas Child, the International Mission Board, or other trusted agencies to find ways your Kids Ministry might serve.
If we want kids to grow up to serve and share the gospel we need to teach them how to serve and share. Lead kids to establish habits of service and sharing and we’ll see service and sharing as habits of the next generation of adult leaders. If you want to make a difference in 15 years? Start today with the kids in your ministry.
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Kids. A graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served as a Kid’s Minister and currently teaches 2nd Grade Bible study.