First, let me start by thanking YOU.
Thank YOU, Children's Minister. Thank YOU, Children's Ministry
volunteer. Thank YOU, Person Who Cares about Kids, whatever your
role in the church may be.
Thank you for the late nights planning lessons. Thank you for
the last minute trips to the grocery store to buy Mentos and Diet
Coke to illustrate the explosive love of Christ. Thank you for your
creativity. Thanks for your tears when you've got just too much to
do. Thanks for sticking with it anyway. Thanks for sharing
your love and your passion and your faith. Thanks for all of this,
and so much more.
Studies show that people who exhibit higher levels of gratitude
are healthier, happier and more successful. Wow, that's a lot of
mileage from that simple "thank you." Those studies
illustrate what we already know: God wired us to be a thankful
But how can your ministry help parents move beyond good manners,
and raise truly thankful children? How can your ministry help show
parents how to model thankfulness? IF we believe thankful children
come from thankful families, how can we help families develop
"attitudes of gratitude" in their daily lives?
Consider these ideas:
- November is the month when thankfulness is an expected topic
- Thanksgiving creates a great entry point. But work toward
helping families - and your ministry -- develop thankfulness as a
- Move thankfulness higher up in your own ministry priorities.
Find time for those thank you notes and those teacher appreciation
lunches. If there's just not time, invite a volunteer to serve the
role of "thankfulness coordinator." Thanking people matters.
- Challenge your leadership team to come up with 5 simple changes
you could make to incrase your ministries' thankfulness factor. It
may be as simple as:
- encouraging Sunday School teachers to say "thank you for
joining us today" to children as they enter the classroom.
- selecting select thankfulness songs for your Children's Choir
throughout the year.
- making a "Thank You, God!" bulletin board that kids are invited
to add to throughout the year.
- Find ways to equip families with easy thankfulness resources
that provide solutions -- not guilt. This may mean starting a
simple "I'm so thankful" email that you send to parents monthly,
where you can express your thanks and share thankfulness resources
- Send families a link to Group's "Thankful
Kids - Thankful Families" page (www.group.com/groupmusic) for a dozen
family-friendly thankfulness activities and free music
downloads. These activities were collected with today's
busy and diverse families in mind. Encourage your families to find
at least one activity to try.
- Invite feedback. Ask families to share their thankfulness
activities with you this November. Ask if you can share their ideas
or success stories with other families.
- Create thankfulness experiences for the whole family at church.
Again, there are some ideas on the www.group.com/groupmusic page that you can
adapt for use in your church.
If you think about it, all ministry is an expression of
thanks to God - when we engage kids in the wonder of God's love,
it's one way to express our thanks to God for sharing the same love
with us. Let's pass it on!