“Do you enjoying serving and helping others?”
“Yes!” the group of kids exclaimed.
“Because I feel good when I do.” “Because I feel like I accomplished something.” “Because I feel like I did something that mattered and that made someone smile.” “Because people need to know that Jesus loves them.”
After almost 10 years in KidMin, I have learned that kids love to feel important. They want to do things that make a difference in the lives of others. Bible stories, facts, memorization, and discussion are all a must, but to help kids actualize their faith, parents and ministry leaders must give them opportunities to live on mission. Putting belief in action shows kids that following Jesus isn’t just learning about Him but also doing what He did for His glory. And they love it. They don’t just want to talk, listen, and play; they want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Kids Have the Power to Serve Others
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside every believer regardless of whether they’re 7 or 70. Jesus said in Acts 1 that this power would be given by Him so that we can be His witnesses proclaiming His gospel to the world. Kids who are saved by Jesus do not receive a lesser amount or version of the Holy Spirit than adults. And the command to “go and make disciples” (Matt 28) is the same for them as for older Christ-followers. Adult Christians do a great service for the Kingdom when they equip young believers with the tools they need to obey this commission.
Kids Want to Serve Others
The dialogue at the start of this blog was with a group of kids during a Wednesday night service. Kids want to serve and to help others. When I do projects with kids during the summer, they really get into serving outside the walls of the church. And they love learning about and praying for missionaries and for the Compassion child we sponsor. I have countless examples of kids putting others first during service activities or events I’ve organized, but it needs to go beyond this. Kids can make a huge impact for the Kingdom in their homes, churches, and communities when serving others becomes not just an activity but a way of life. Parents and ministry leaders, let’s fan this flame that is in our kids and help them serve the Lord by loving and serving others.
Kids Need Missions Education
Just because kids want to be on mission, doesn’t mean they know how. And many do not know what work is already being done in their city or state or around the world. Missions education for kids is vital for three reasons:
- To show them that they are not in this alone. Our church and our Kid’s Ministry are not the only ones in the world reaching people for Jesus.
- To give them opportunities and ideas to serve the Lord at their current age by doing, by giving, and by praying.
- To show them the missions possibilities they will have when they are older.
There are many resources available. A quick google search will pull up dozens of organizations and ideas for families and ministries of all ages. Fellow KidMins, I encourage you to make missions education a priority in your weekly services.
Kids Need Opportunities to Serve Others
It’s going to take work, sometimes hard work, to help kids live out their faith. They can’t drive and rarely have the ability to finance projects on their own. And they often don’t have their own service project ideas. Parents and ministry leaders, we need to create regular opportunities for kids to serve others both with their families and with their peers. This means planning service projects, teaching kids about missions, generating ideas for ways kids can serve their families, churches, schools, and communities, and adopting a missionary family to contact and/or pray for. It means nudging kids (and probably ourselves) out of our comfort zones and living zealously for Jesus.
I have found that kids, especially young kids, don’t give push back to serving others for Jesus. They want to; we just have to give them the opportunities.
Service/Mission Things We Do at Ridge Kids
Sponsor a Child Through Compassion
His name is Samuel, and he’s from Ghana, Africa. We write to him and read the letters he sends to us. We also learn about his country.
Others First Summer Service Camp
God gave me this awesome idea to do an overnight camp for kids 2nd-6th grade where we would have intense Bible study and do service projects on our church campus, in our city, and in another country via a missionary partner.
Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
Samaritans Purse does an incredible job of offering this project. The shoeboxes are packed by church members, gathered at drop-off locations, and sent around the world to kids in need of not just cool things but also of Jesus.
Learn About and Pray for Missionaries
Through IMB and NAMB, we connect with missionaries and pray for them. We also have missionaries from our church that we learn about and pray for.
If you’re a parent or KidMin leader and you need resources or advice on helping your kids live their faith, you can message me any time. If you have great ideas, please share. We’re in this together for the glory of the Lord.