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One of the Big Keys to Seeing Kids Stick With the Faith

We often see staggering statistics that show the high percentage of kids who grow up and walk away from the faith.

But the good news is this - it doesn't have to be that way.

As we look into God's Word, we see that one of the big keys to seeing kids stick with their faith is to get them involved in serving. Never are kids more like Jesus than when they are serving.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to

SERVE others and to GIVE His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

When you give kids the opportunity to serve, you are giving them an opportunity to be like Jesus. Studies show that kids who serve at church end up sticking with their faith and church for the rest of their lives. There is something about serving that helps kids stay the course. There is something about serving that activates faith and captivates a child’s heart for Jesus. Serving is a huge key to seeing kids follow Jesus for a lifetime.

The Bible says that faith without works is dead. But when we start serving and helping others, our faith comes alive at a whole new level. This is crucial if we want to see kids grow up to serve Jesus for a lifetime.

When I was 16 years old-years-old, I was attending church, but serving wasn’t a priority on my list of things to do. All I really cared about was my car, girls and sports. But that all changed when my youth pastor approached me about serving in children’s ministry. I put him off for several weeks, but he kept asking. So I finally said, “Okay, I will come by and check it out this Sunday.” God used serving to help me surrender to His plan for my life. 37 years later, I am still serving Jesus and helping children and families know and follow Jesus. For me, serving has been the thing that has helped me stay the course.

Today’s kids are growing up with us pushing slogans like“Sunday Funday” at them and then we wonder why they grow up and realize they can have more “fun” outside of church on Sunday. Bottom line...we’re conditioning them to think that it’s all about them. We’re teaching them to “love themselves” more than we are teaching them to “love God with all your heart, mind and soul.” And when they get older, they walk away from church since they have other sources that can boost their self-esteem without asking for 10% of their paycheck.

And when they get older, they check out because if it’s all about them...why spend Sunday in church, when you can be happier “worshiping God on a hike or at the lake or at the ballfield?” When we let kids be the church today, it helps activate their faith and makes it come alive! Kids serving as greeters are more likely to grow up to be adults who serve as greeters. Kids having a part in teaching the lesson are more likely to grow up to be adults teaching the lesson. Kids spreading the Gospel are more likely to grow up to be adults spreading the Gospel. Kids serving as ushers are more likely to grow up to be adults serving as ushers. Kids involved in missions are more likely to grow up to be adults involved in missions.

A key component to spiritual growth is serving. Many times the reason a person is stagnated in their growth is because they are not serving. Faith without serving is going to have a hard time growing. As we share what God is teaching us through serving, we are creating a pathway for our own roots to grow deeper. Why do you think kids return from a missions or outreach trip with a deeper, spiritual commitment? Because as they served others,

God took them to a new level spiritually. Kids don’t have to wait until they are adults to serve. You learn what you live. Be intentional about event-serving creating weekly and event serving opportunities.

Will you encourage the kids in your church to be the church of today?

When people engage in serving, they are much more consistent in their attendance, right? The more kids and families we are able to move into serving, the more consistent attendance we will see.

When children understand that God has a purpose for their life and they can be used of God to impact others for the kingdom, they will engage wholeheartedly. Here are some steps you can take to see this happen in your ministry. #1 - Teach it. Make sure serving is a key component of what you teach children. Use passages such as Mark 9:33-35 to teach children what God’s Word says about being a servant.

#2 - Model it. Serving is just as much caught as it is taught. Jesus modeled serving for His disciples by washing their feet. Let kids see you serving others.

#3 - Give them opportunities to live it. Kids don’t have to wait until they are adults to serve. Be intentional about creating weekly and event serving opportunities for them.

#4 - Partner with parents to demonstrate it. When kids serve alongside their parents, it makes a lasting impression. Have serving opportunities that brings kids and parents together.

#5 - Honor it. Honor serving and faithfulness more than talent. Here are some practical ways you can give kids opportunities to serve and make an impact:

  • Pre-teen serving projects.

  • Serving opportunities after church services.

  • Serving alongside their parents.

  • Leading worship.

  • Pre-service impact opportunities.

  • Involve them in special offerings.

  • Give them ways to invite people to attend church.

  • Greeters and hosts for new kids.

Guess who runs the AV for us during the kids' services at my home church? A first-grader. Yes. You read that correctly...a first-grader. And he does an amazing job. I am involving him in serving now and I believe one day he will be running the AV in the adult service as an adult who grew up and never walked away from his faith.

Do you have a copy of my book "Fertile Soil...See Kids' Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime?" In this book, I share the 3 biggest reasons why kids grow up and walk away from the faith. Then I share the keys to seeing kids' faith grow and flourish for a lifetime. It is available at this link.


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