Investing in a Future Harvest


Use this devotion at a meeting of all your volunteer teachers
and helpers, including the “behind-the-scenes” heroes, to show just
how much God appreciates everything your volunteers do for the kids
of his harvest field. Allow approximately ten minutes, with a snack
time afterward.

Prepare for This Session

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• Read John 4:35b-37, and consider its implications for the
different kinds of volunteers who work in the children’s

• Gather your supplies: a small cup of candy corn for each group of
four or five volunteers, a strip of sod or green felt cut into
squares (optional), one six- to eight-inch red clay pot for every
four to six participants, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookies or
wafers, cardboard (for use with optional sod), plastic flowers,
serving spoons, plastic bowls and spoons, and a bouquet of fresh

• Prepare “flower pot” ice cream snacks: Run the clay pots through
the dishwasher to clean them. Fill the pots with chocolate ice
cream, and crumble chocolate cookies or wafers over the top. Place
the filled pots in the freezer for a day or two before the

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• If you’re using sod, place each square of sod on cardboard.

• Just before the meeting, remove the flower pot snacks from the
freezer. Place a square of sod or green felt on each meeting table
as a base for your snack pots. Stick plastic flowers in the pots
for color.

The Journey of the Flowers

Bring a bouquet of fresh flowers to the volunteer meeting, and set
them on a front table.

Say: Aren’t these flowers beautiful?

Invite participants to pass them around and smell them. Say: You
know, it took a lot of people to get these flowers here to us today
so that we could enjoy them. Before they were harvested,

• someone tilled the fields;

• someone else planted the seeds;

Recruiting Volunteers as Jesus Did

• someone had to make sure they were regularly watered;

• other people sprayed for bugs and pulled weeds;

• somewhere along the line someone finally harvested them;

• someone else took them to the marketplace;

• and finally the florist bought them and arranged them so I could
bring them to this meeting for all of us to enjoy.

None of these people are getting to enjoy the fruit of their labor
firsthand as we are now-and as you will be for the next week! Hand
the flowers to one of your volunteers to take home. Choose someone
who is new to the children’s ministry or who has had a recent
birthday or other special event.

Say: It’s different in the kingdom of God. Everyone who has a part
in the crop gets to share in the joy of the harvest. Maybe you
think your role in bringing kids to the Lord is small or
insignificant. But this is a collaborative effort, and we all get
to enjoy the fruit. Regardless of your role in ministry, you get to
enjoy the harvest!

A Biblical Challenge

Have participants sit in groups of four or five-if possible,
according to ministry teams or classroom groups so people in each
group have worked together and know one another.

Read aloud John 4:35b-37. Say: We’re going to take a moment to
affirm and encourage one another as we recognize the different
contributions each of us makes to the process of harvesting the
lives of our children.

Hand a cup of candy corn to one person in each group.

Say: I’d like the person holding the cup of candy corn to start.
Tell the rest of the group how the person on your right assists in
harvesting spiritual fruit in children. For example, you might say:
“Mary, because you are so cheerful when you greet and register
children at the door, you prepare them to be receptive to the
teaching that day and you encourage parents to get more

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After you have affirmed the person on your right, you get to eat a
piece of candy and pass the cup to that person. That person will
then do the same thing with the person on his or her right, and so
on until everyone in your group has had a piece and “enjoyed the

After everyone has been affirmed, say: Regardless of your role in
ministry, you get to enjoy the harvest!

A Big Thank You

Say: I want to read you a letter that might reflect the thoughts of
someone who was in your Sunday school class:

“Hi! I’m graduating from high school this year. As I look back I
realize that a lot of people played a significant part in my life
while I was growing up. I want to thank these people-and you’re one
of them!

“Oh, you may not remember me. I was one of your kids in Sunday
school ten years ago. My dad was very sick when I started coming. I
think his illness made him and Mom decide to start going to

“Because my dad died a few months later, my mom had to go back to
work and we moved out of town. So I was really only in your class
for a few months. But I wanted to write and tell you how often I
think about you.

“While Mom was so busy taking care of Dad and then trying to get a
new job, you were one of the few adults who made time to listen to
me. You really cared. When I was sad, you understood. Sometimes you
just sat with me, and we didn’t say anything at all.

“I wasn’t there long, but you had enough time to tell me the good
news about Jesus. I remembered what you said, and a few years later
I became a Christian (and so did my mom)!

“Your love and caring, and the excitement you always showed when
you were telling us about God, made it easy for me to gain my own
faith later on. Although you were miles and years away, I felt as
if you were with me that day when I became a Christian. Thanks for
taking the time to care.”

Recruiting for Successful Ministry

Say: You see, regardless of your role in ministry, you get to enjoy
the harvest!

Talking With the Lord of the Harvest

Say: I’m going to lead us in prayer. After I say each line, take a
moment to pray silently to the Lord of the harvest.

Say each line; then pause for silent prayer:

• Think about those adults who were significant in your life as you
grew up or when you came to know the Lord. Thank God for the
laborers who invested in your life…and for those who harvested

• Think about those children who’ve been in your classroom in the
past. Pray for them and for the people who continue to work in
their lives.

• Think about the children you have in your classroom right now.
Pray for them, and pray that you will someday have the joy of
seeing a bountiful harvest from this fresh crop!

After a pause, say: Amen.

Sharing in the Harvest

Pull the artificial flowers out of one of the flower pot snacks,
and say: Surprise! All of us really do get to enjoy the harvest!
Even though someone else planted these flowers, we all get to eat
the ice cream inside the pots. Enjoy!

Hand out serving spoons and plastic bowls and spoons, and let
everyone serve themselves from the pots.

Say: Remember, regardless of your role in ministry, you get to
enjoy the harvest

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