I am always talking about how kids can “do the stuff” of the Kingdom, but what does that really mean? How can we involve the kids in the ministry of the Kingdom? It starts with our mind-sets. Instead of looking at our kids as students to teach, I want to see them as partners in ministry. Here are some ways we are including our kids at our church and some things I dream of implementing.
Worship Leaders: Some kids at our church have worked hard to become a worship team. They practice every Wednesday night together and they lead worship for kid’s church once a month. Our kids band learns to play worship songs that our adult church sings. They learn how to sing prophetic songs to Jesus and they are currently learning how to write their own songs. One of our mottos in the kids band is to lead by serving. We want to serve the Lord and the church through our worship sessions.
Teachers: Kids are fantastic at imitation. We tell our students a Bible story and then ask them to retell it to the class the next week. One Sunday I taught on the Trinity (a fairly difficult subject to explain). The next week, I asked a student to reteach the subject of the Trinity. My mind was blown when this 9-year-old started handing out candy corn while explaining that the Trinity was like this candy. One candy with three equal parts. I asked his parents who told him to use this visual aid and they assured me that he came up with this idea on his own.
Ministry Team: We train our older kids in the class to be the ministry team. If a kid has a prayer request, then the ministry team lays hands on that kid and prays for them. It is a powerful thing to see. We recently added some of these kids to our adult ministry team. One Sunday a month, the kid will join a circle of adult ministry team members to pray for other adults after church. One of our boys continually asked for prayer for warts on his hands and feet. The kids would pray so diligently for this young man with such expectation, that he would take his shoes off each time to see if the warts had fallen off. They finally did. Not during a ministry time, but simply when the boy looked at a painting during a worship service. The power of praying kids is amazing.
Deacons: A deacon is an appointed servant for the church. We invite some kids to come early and help set up and decorate the room. We ask some parents if their kids can stay after church to help with clean up. Kids want to volunteer. They get excited when they are picked to pass out a worksheet. They get excited when they are chosen to run an errand. We encourage our little deacons to greet new kids at the door and sit with them throughout the class. We are striving to teach leadership through service.
Leadership Team: I remember my youth pastor choosing me to be on the youth group leadership/planning team one year. I was so honored and I took my role seriously. I believe kids can fulfill this role as well. We want to have a leadership team that helps make decisions about what events we plan for the year. Our leadership team leads small group time in our classes. We ask our leadership team to plan outreach ideas for their school and community.
Intercession: We were recently reminded of the importance of teaching kids about intercession. When kids pray, stuff happens. We desire to take kids and families on prayer walks in our community. We want to go to City Hall with our family intercession teams and ask Jesus for the big stuff. Our city will be transformed through the power of praying kids.
Kids need our help. They can't do this on their own. Equipping and releasing is a lot harder than just doing ministry for the kids, but if we don’t give them opportunity to participate, how will they know that they are more than capable of “doing the stuff” of the Kingdom.