This post is part review, part promotion and a lot of hope that you will really check the following things out. Cindy Colley has been doing a periodic theme on her site that she’s calling K.I.S.S. (Kids in Service Suggestions) and it is well-worth reading, re-reading and even printing out for reminding yourself. Here’s her introduction to the series:
One of the most requested topics this year on my speaking circuit has been a lesson in which I list a hundred ideas for training our kids to be servants. Service oriented kids grow up to be productive adult servants in the kingdom and it’s those people to whom the Lord will say, “Come ye blessed of my Father,” according to Matthew 25. So it matters if I’m making a real effort, as a mom, to put the heart of a servant in my child. For this reason, I’ve decided to devote a post, every now and then, to a service suggestion—a simple idea for moms to make their homes busy service centers for young hearts and hands. I’d love to hear from those of you who try them.
So far, there are 12 K.I.S.S. posts. Here you’ll find a brief summary of each, but be sure to read the original posts for the full explanation.
- Widow Hugging— give your children an “assignment” to hug three widows at each Sunday morning service. If they don’t manage to hug three, require them to hug six on Sunday evening. Chances are, it won’t feel like an assignment for long.
- Widow’s Luncheon— involve your children in planning, hosting and serving a widow’s luncheon. They can help with decorations, picking out and preparing the meal, and making favors to send with the attendees. Kids can even prepare a song or other entertainment.
- Bible Study Helpers— train kids to do whatever needs doing in order to make evangelistic Bible studies as smooth and successful as possible. Fill drink glasses. Entertain young children. Clean up before hand. Soon they will see it as a priority.
- Bread Baking— few things warm a heart the way home-baked bread does, and making it is something kids can often help with. Bring it to a grieving widower to show you care. Bring it for potluck to encourage fellowship. Keep some on hand in the freezer to serve impromptu company (hint: it thaws much more quickly if you slice it first). The recipe shared is an old-time sourdough favorite of the Colley family and others.
- Table Service— “Hospitality is not merely a dying art form; it’s a forgotten command (I Peter 4:9).” Hospitality is important and kids can be great helpers, relieving some of the burden from you and learning service at the same time. Encourage children to refill glasses, bring napkins, etc.
- Clean for Guests— even the most humble abode can be clean, and even a toddler can help make it so. Cleaning our homes for guests not only makes the guests feel more comfortable, but it trains your children to have others-focused hearts. Explain to your children the “why” behind the cleaning and set them on the path to being godly servants.
- Tell the Service Stories— the Bible is full of accounts of those who were servants of man because they were servants of God. These important lessons coming straight from God’s word can help your children to see how important, rewarding and pleasing to God such tasks are.
- Handicapped Helpers— Jesus was one who offered healing to those who were less than able. Today we cannot offer healing, but we can offer our helping hands. Teach your children to be on the lookout for those who may need assistance. Perhaps they can hold a door for someone in a wheelchair, reach items in the store for those in motorized carts, fold and unfold walkers at services.
- Missionaries and Piggy Banks— encourage your children to give of their own funds when missionaries come through or when you otherwise have opportunity (like, say… Missionary of the Month! :)). Doing so will help them feel that they are a part of the work being done and can instill a lifelong love for missions.
- Missionary Letters— choose a missionary family to exchange letters with and help your children to develop a mission mindset. Encourage them to ask questions and build their curiosity about the place their pen pal friends live and serve. You just might turn your child into a future missionary.
- Make for Missions— there are a myriad of things that children can make for missionaries and their congregations. From divvying up bags of candy for Bible classes to crocheting a blanket for an expecting missionary wife, the options are endless and endlessly valuable for the maker and the recipient.
- The Never-Say-No Rule— sometimes it’s just better to make it a matter of family policy. When kids are offered a chance to serve, make it known that “yes” should be the automatic response. Their skills, comfort-level and opportunities will all increase as you set service in their hearts.
Be sure to take some time to read each of these suggestions. Remember what Christ said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). Let’s train our children to be what they’ve been called to be!