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Kids Make a Difference

Gordon West

Children seem to be born with a desire to serve others. Even a 2-year-old will automatically comfort a crying baby by sharing a toy.

In 2004 when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia, and again when the hurricanes hit the southern United States in 2005, kids were among the first to get involved. Children are pre-wired for service!

And Christian children have an added motivation to serve God. They serve the same God and have the same spiritual gifts as the rest of us. And they've been given the same challenge and promise from God: "You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere -- in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). For children, that might sound something like this:
"You'll be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere -- at home and school, throughout your town, across the country, and to the ends of the earth."

Let's take a look at the many ways you can incorporate service into the fiber of your ministry from home to church to community to country to the world -- just as in Acts 1:8.

Service at Home

It's not as exciting as a missions trip to Africa, but contributing at home is truly the foundation for a lifetime of service. Here are ideas you can use to get kids serving at home.

  • Helper's Hints -- On slips of paper, have kids write or draw a picture of a way to serve each family member. Then place the slips in a decorated shoebox. For example, kids might write, "Make Mom's bed," "Give a hug," or "Do the dishes." Each morning kids can choose a slip of paper and use the "hint" to serve someone that day. Periodically have kids come up with new ideas to add to their boxes at home.
  • Flower Power -- Younger children can create six construction-paper flowers, while older kids may enjoy arranging six artificial flowers in a decorative plastic cup. Have kids write one way they'll serve their families on each flower. Kids can place the flowers at home where they'll see them every day and remember to serve.
  • Love Language -- Discuss with kids how service is doing what someone else needs, not simply doing what we like to do for others. Then ask kids to identify meaningful ways they can show love to their families. Have kids create a service plan for the following week and keep a short journal of people's reactions to their acts of service. Share reports the following week.
  • Service Celebration -- Challenge kids to complete one act of kindness for each family member during the week. In your classroom, have kids share ways they served their families so other kids get new ideas. Then serve the kids snacks as a celebration of their service.
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