Children seem to be born with a desire to serve others. Even a
2-year-old will automatically comfort a crying baby by sharing a
In 2004 when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia, and again when the
hurricanes hit the southern United States in 2005, kids were among
the first to get involved. Children are pre-wired for service!
And Christian children have an added motivation to serve God.
They serve the same God and have the same spiritual gifts as the
rest of us. And they’ve been given the same challenge and promise
from God: “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me
everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). For children, that might sound
something like this:
“You’ll be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — at
home and school, throughout your town, across the country, and to
the ends of the earth.”
Let’s take a look at the many ways you can incorporate service
into the fiber of your ministry from home to church to community to
country to the world — just as in Acts 1:8.
Service at Home
It’s not as exciting as a missions trip to Africa, but
contributing at home is truly the foundation for a lifetime of
service. Here are ideas you can use to get kids serving at
- Helper’s Hints — On slips of paper, have kids
write or draw a picture of a way to serve each family member. Then
place the slips in a decorated shoebox. For example, kids might
write, “Make Mom’s bed,” “Give a hug,” or “Do the dishes.” Each
morning kids can choose a slip of paper and use the “hint” to serve
someone that day. Periodically have kids come up with new ideas to
add to their boxes at home.
- Flower Power — Younger children can create
six construction-paper flowers, while older kids may enjoy
arranging six artificial flowers in a decorative plastic cup. Have
kids write one way they’ll serve their families on each flower.
Kids can place the flowers at home where they’ll see them every day
and remember to serve.
- Love Language — Discuss with kids how service
is doing what someone else needs, not simply doing what we like to
do for others. Then ask kids to identify meaningful ways they can
show love to their families. Have kids create a service plan for
the following week and keep a short journal of people’s reactions
to their acts of service. Share reports the following week.
- Service Celebration — Challenge kids to
complete one act of kindness for each family member during the
week. In your classroom, have kids share ways they served their
families so other kids get new ideas. Then serve the kids snacks as
a celebration of their service.