Last week I shared 5 Ways That Kids Can Serve in Kid’s Church. Having kids serve can be GREAT. However, we need to make sure that they are prepared, or it can be a source of great frustration for us and the child. So, here are 4 tips for helping kids serve in kid’s church, or church in general.
1.) Train them
Keep in mind that for most of your kids this will be their first time serving in church. You wouldn’t put any other person in any other environment to work doing something they had never done without proper training. Nor should we ask anyone to serve in church without training them first. Seek to answer these questions as you train them:
- Who: Who will they be serving? Who will they be serving with? Who are they accountable to?
- What: What are they supposed to be doing? What tools are available to them? What are your expectations of them?
- When: When should they arrive? When are they to do whatever it is they are to do within the service? When are some other times that you would like them there for practices, etc?
- Where:Where should they be before the service? Where should they be during the service? Where should they go went it’s time to do their thing? Where should they go when they are done doing their thing?
- How: How do they do the thing you are asking them to do? How do they advance the slides in the presentation? How do they turn up the volume on that one mic? How should they greet new kids?
- Why: This may be the most important question you seek to help these kids answer. They may have a wide variety of reasons that they want to serve. Help them to see that while many of their reasons for serving are ok, their real reason for serving is for the benefit of others. We serve because Jesus served. We serve because Jesus died for us. We serve because we want to love our neighbors.
2.) Watch them
This one may go without saying. As children’s ministry leaders we are constantly watching the kids in our care. However, this goes beyond this. When a child is serving you need to watch so that you can see how well they are doing. Celebrate them publicly when they do a good job. Offer gentle correction and instruction when needed. Remember the point is not simply to make a show of cute little children serving. Rather it is to actually help these kids grow through the experience. Some of my greatest times of growth have come through serving.
3.) Be patient
Remember that these are children. Certainly we want them to do a great job, but we must remember that they are children. Being children comes with a certain amount of silliness and a certain lack of focus at times. Keep in mind that for many kids this will be the first time that they have ever served in church. Most people wouldn’t be willing to give them the chance. Trust me, most of those kids want to do a good job, if for no other reason that to please you. So, be patient with them.
4.) Let them be bad at it
I remember early in my ministry there were certain things that I had a hard time letting other people do. Teaching was one of those things. You see, I had a certain way that I thought it should be done and I just knew that others would be able to do it my way. Well, the truth is that my way was just my way, not THE way. So, I started letting others teach. Were they as good as me their first time out? No, they were not. But, they learned and grew… just like I had. Let these kids be bad at the jobs you are giving them. Then, guide them and teach them till they are better at it. You may find that some of these kids are actually better at some of these things that some of the adults you might have serving with you.
At some point someone took a chance with you. They gave you the chance to do something you had never done before… and to be bad at it. Maybe they trained you, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they watched you and offered correction and instruction as needed. Maybe they were patient with you as you learned. If they didn’t do these things, then I bet you wish they had. Kid’s can be the church of today, if we let them… and help them.
These tips can also apply to the adults serving in your ministry. If you take these steps with the adults serving in your ministry you may find that they stay longer and that you others are more likely to come onboard.Matt Norman
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