In a previous post we talked about how helping kids learn about spiritual gifts is rooted in them understanding the gospel. It is not so much about pinpointing a specific gift as it us understanding who they are in Christ and exploring how God has made them.
Kids need opportunities to experiment and discover what God has gifted them to do. What are some ways we can provide those opportunities?
- Create rich service opportunities. If all our kids do is sit and passively listen, play games, go home… where will they discover the joy of serving or what God has gifted them to do? How can you put kids to work trying out different aspects of ministry? For a season we changed children’s choir so that it gave kids a more hands-on experience. They were able to try out the tech side of worship ministry. Some learned instruments. Some learned how to sing in a small praise team or how to do drama. We changed the dynamic of children’s choir by letting them explore gifts used in the church.
2. Provide ministry ownership for kids. If kids’ whole experience at your church is to come and sit and be entertained, when will they transition to learning how they fit in that experience? Typically adults plan and implement everything the kids do. Instead of adults doing everything, how can kids be involved in natural ways? Look for ways to move away from the default of entertaining them while they are there. Instead, train them to own ministry and utilize the gifts and talents God has given them.
3. Look for special events, but also including it in the norm. The goal is not to overwhelm your already busy calendar. Don’t add a million special events. Adapt what you are already doing to include opportunities for kids to serve.
4. Varied, unique experiences help kids try different things. One summer we utilized our Wednesday nights to do a different ministry project each week. One night we cleaned nursery toys and another night we delivered gifts to neighbors. We made bags for the homeless and we wrote encouraging notes to people within the church. By varying the experiences, kids were able to see what connected with them.