What ways do you help kids live out what they are learning in your kids ministry? How are you helping them do what they are learning? One way you can help them begin to do God’s Word is through ministry projects. Here are some thoughts about involving kids in ministry to the community inside and outside your church.
Collect something – Ask kids in your ministry to bring food for your church’s food pantry or a local charity; school supplies for local teachers; or other items for a specific church ministry or local charity. Choose something that connects to what you have been learning at church. Ask someone from the ministry to talk with kids about what their donations will mean. Help the children connect personally with the ministry. One local food charity published specific food needs every month. When peanut butter was on the list, our church challenged the preschool ministries to bring peanut butter. (Most preschoolers know about peanut butter.) We gathered a lot; I’m sure the charity did not run out for a while!
Make something – Provide or gather resources and lead kids to make something for a ministry. Assemble toiletry bags for a local shelter or decorate food bags for a local charity. Check with the ministry or charity first to make sure whatever you create will benefit them, or ask them for ideas of what your kids could do. Take a group of kids with you when you take your creations to donate.
Do something – Look for ways that kids could do some "real work" for a person or charity. Sorting clothing or unloading supplies could be a way to help. Maybe your kids ministry could connect with a local service organization to help individuals. During a preteen retreat, kids in our church did yard work for some of our older members. Encourage the kids to have fun but make sure they know that work is involved, too. But they will see the results of that hard work and see how their "doing" benefits others. (Children’s Ministry Day challenged kids to meet needs in their local communities. You may get ideas for projects by reading their stories.)
Maybe your ministry could even be a "project incubator." Encourage individuals to think of needs they want to help meet. Then your ministry could help support, nurture, and "incubate" their ideas, assisting as needed to help the child accomplish his goal. One 10-year-old girl is leading her peers to serve others.
Part of helping kids develop strong spiritual foundations in their lives is leading them to do God’s Word. What kinds of projects and activities are you doing to lead kids to serve and help others?
Learn more about the Hear-Know-Do strategy from these past posts: