One of the best places for kids to become involved in ministry is the church. It’s a safe space and allows kids the opportunity to serve members of the church family without the pressure of perfection or performing, such as can be the case with school. Allowing them to make mistakes gives them room to learn and grow and fosters an environment of trust and comfort.
Just as it says in 1 Timothy 4:12: Don’t let anyone look down on the kids because they are young. Set an example for these young believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and purity.
If you haven’t done so yet, begin now. Encourage your kids to be ministers of God’s love and Word!
Here are a few tips on how to get your kids more involved in your children’s ministry.
Learn What They Like
Your chances of having kids enjoy and get engaged in Sunday School increase when you strategically work to attract them — in other words, think like a kid. Whether it’s in the form of a child-friendly environment with colorful decorations and right-sized chairs or your likable, friendly demeanor, make sure that kids will like whatever they encounter. While you may think that budget could be a challenge, remember that it’s possible to create an engaging physical environment on any budget with a bit of creativity and the help of some volunteers. And having a warm, friendly, and positive attitude won’t cost you anything.
Make Sure You Relate to Them
Focus your effort on reaching children and engaging their hearts by demonstrating a genuine interest in their lives. This way, you foster an authentic relationship with them, build trust and get kids more actively involved. However, only if you show a genuine interest in them will you make a connection – children easily spot a phony. So make sincere efforts to relate to kids that go beyond the class. Truly invest in kids with your words, time, and actions.
Speak Their Language
When you try to engage kids who spend most of their time on various gadgets, you will have to try a bit harder than you might be used to. By understanding or speaking their language, you have a better chance of forming a connection with them. While your history, expertise, and life experience all make you a valuable influence in kids’ lives, you won’t be able to connect to them if your language or references feel outdated to them.
So keep up on pop culture, kids’ trends, and know what’s happening in their world. When they know you’re plugged into their daily happenings, they’ll be engaged before you start talking because they already know they can relate to you.
Empower Them To Affect Change
Many of today’s kids genuinely want to impact this world; all they need is an opportunity to do so. Kids care about many global and social justice issues and feel obligated to do something about these. When you motivate, inspire, and challenge them to change their world, you empower them to get involved.
It’s not enough to simply teach theory and life application; you must engage them with a real challenge. You would be surprised how engaged children can become when you inspire them. Ask them about issues they would like to change and brainstorm together to develop practical ways to tackle these.
Involve Them in Holiday Programs
Holiday plays and programs are the perfect opportunities to get kids involved. Children can serve in productions, such as Easter or Christmas plays or special programs. Aside from participating in a play, they can sing a song, play a musical instrument, read a passage from the Bible or act as the program’s host.
Give Children Special Ministry Roles
Naturally, some kids stand out due to their extroverted and friendly nature. These children often enjoy taking on responsibilities, such as becoming part of a leadership team that greets other children at the door and makes them feel welcome.
This way, first-time visitors immediately get to know someone and don’t feel lost. In addition, there may be kids in your ministry who have a heart and passion for prayer, leading worship songs or running media, so give children these opportunities.
Implement a Buddy System
You can implement a buddy system and assign regularly attending children to introduce themselves to and spend time with a new child, being their first friend. By spending the full service with their buddy, new children feel more comfortable returning a second time.
Involve Kids in Community Outreach
Community outreach gives kids the opportunity to reach lost people who need Jesus. Outreach in nursing homes, food pantries, or soup kitchens helps them see the heart of Jesus for the poor. In addition, when children see those who are less fortunate than themselves, they learn about gratitude and giving.
Opening environments for kids to serve those in their community also stretches their boldness in sharing their faith in Christ.
Giving children every opportunity to share their faith with those around them builds their confidence in their beliefs and ability to follow Jesus’ call to tell the world about Him. When you engage them in community outreach, they help others and become the metaphorical “hands and feet of Jesus,” so give them opportunities to do so and see them flourish in service.