Did you know that studies show that kids and teenagers who serve in their local church are far less likely to walk away from their faith as they get older?
The Bible reminds us of this in James 2. Here's what it says...
"Just as the body is dead without breath,
so also faith is dead without good works."
Good works lead to a faith that is alive and vibrant.
The verse also compares someone who has no good works to a person who has no breath and is dead.
What is the difference between a child/teenager who has dead faith and a child/teenager whose faith is alive and vibrant?
I remember when I was a teenager in high school. I was attending church, but was not serving. Looking back I would have to say my faith was bland at the time. All I cared about was my car, girls and sports.
But that all changed when my youth pastor asked me to serve in children's ministry. At first, I said "no" but he kept asking and eventually I agreed to come in and check out the children's ministry. As I began serving, my faith was transformed. I moved from being a nominal follower of Christ to being a passionate, mission-driven follower of Jesus.
What made the difference? Serving. Good works.
I shared that story with you because I want you to see how impactful it is when you get kids and students involved in serving.
Let's take that premise and look at 10 specific ways kids can serve.
1. Preschool. Children can serve alongside their parents in preschool ministry. In this situation, the child can help pass out crafts, snacks and interact with the preschoolers in a positive way.
2. Help the teacher clean up the classroom after services are over. Parents can also serve with their child in this capacity.
4. Sing on the praise team and help lead worship. A few times a year, you can give kids the opportunity to lead worship in the adult service.
5. Help direct traffic with their father or mother. Of course, the child should be equipped to help with this and safety measures should be in place.
6. Prepare crafts and other classroom elements together during the week.
7. Be an actor in a skit.
8. Put together thank you packages and deliver them to local police officers, firemen, nurses, etc.
9. Write an encouraging note to men and women who are serving in the military.
10. Join in community service projects. Paint the house of a widow. Clean up the yard of a single parent. Help clean up a local park.
One important thing to help kids understand is this.
When we serve, we are not just "doing a chore." Rather, we are serving in the name of Jesus. It's not just a good work, it's a God work.
If you want to see the kids and students in your ministry stick with their faith, then get them involved in serving. It will change their life and help them love and follow Jesus for a lifetime.
Your turn. What are some other ways you involve kids and students in serving? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.