Use these 3 devotions to encourage your volunteers in a brief team meeting or full training.
On the Spot
Encourage your volunteers in the amazing ministry they have to children.
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Say: Did you know that according to Barna Research Group, most people who believe in Christ as their Savior, do so before age 12.
Give each person a 3×5 card with a spot drawn in the middle of the card.
Say: Spend a minute thinking about what you see on the card. What does the spot say to you — or not say to you? (Allow time.) Turn to a partner and talk about what you thought about the spot. (Allow two minutes.) I’d like to hear what you talked about. What did you think about the spot? (Take four or five responses.)
Say: In each of us there’s a spot — an empty spot that needs to be filled. Unfortunately, from the day we’re born we try to fill it with the wrong things. Some try food, others try games, and still others try alcohol, drugs, sex, violence…the list can go on and on. We know we have this spot, and we know it needs to be filled. We just can’t seem to figure out what to place in it. Sadly, people who try false substitutes find out, usually too late, that the spot is still empty and they’re not satisfied.
Read aloud 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.
Say: The only thing that can fill the spot is Jesus Christ. And that’s why it’s a privilege to minister to children. We can introduce them to Christ at an early age. We can spare them years of agony. We can help them fill up their spot with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Clock or Compass?
Challenge your volunteers to consider their priorities with this devotion.
Display a clock and a compass. Give volunteers one minute to write all the details they can about the clock. Then do the same for the compass. When time is up, compare what they discovered.
Say: The clock represents our commitments, appointments, schedules, goals, and activities. It’s how we manage our time. The compass represents our vision, values, principles, mission, direction-and our relationship with God.
Jesus understood the importance of balancing the clock and the compass.
Read aloud John 15:5.
Say: We all face the challenge of trying to live by the compass, not the clock. Keeping the compass in mind helps us keep the big picture in view.
Ask: What is your direction? How can you better balance your ministry? Your life?
Close in prayer, asking Jesus to help volunteers live by the compass and to maintain balance in ministry and in life.
Royal Oak, Michigan
Big Presents, Little Package
Share a light-hearted moment of joy and discovery with your volunteers.
You’ll need a small matchbox stuffed completely with tiny items such as a staple, paper clip, stamp, dental floss, dime, pin, safety pin, button, string, ribbon, bead, nail, toothpick, pebble, and seed. Gift wrap the filled box.
Place the tiny gift where all can see, and ask your volunteers to guess what tiny gift might be inside the box. Give them thirty seconds to write their guess. Then ask one volunteer to unwrap the gift and display what’s inside.
Ask: Were you surprised by how much was inside such a tiny box? Why or why not? How is this gift like or unlike the children in our ministry?
Say: The children we minister to are a lot like this box — they’re small on the outside, but they’re filled with great treasures.
Read aloud Matthew 19:14.
Ask: How can we celebrate our children’s gifts? How can we focus on kids’ treasures more in our ministry? How can you celebrate those gifts in your role?
Close in prayer, thanking God for each child in your ministry.