I wanted to help. It didn’t matter to me that I was just a kid. I wanted to do more than sit on a pew. I agree, I wasn’t qualified to teach the class, but there were lots of things I could do. Although my Sunday school teacher couldn’t imagine her class doing anything more than listening to her talk, the state director of the girl’s ministry saw potential. She understood that girls wanted to be involved and she let us. She asked us for ideas that would make the reward ceremony extra special. She let us file and make copies. We carried out trash and we thought we were the most important girls in the world because we were helping.
I remember helping stock the shelves in the Home Mission closet where pastor’s wives of struggling, young churches came to pick out basic supplies for their homes. I will always remember one lady’s joy as we packed her box with sheets and towels. We wrote each other for years after that. What a powerful impact that experience made on my life. I saw first-hand what it meant to pioneer a Home Mission work.
There are children in your class that need to become involved in ministry, before they catch the deadly Pew Potato Disease that is destroying our churches. Churches are filled with pew sitters that haven’t done anything for God in years. If we want children to be involved in ministry then why wait until they have lost that natural desire to serve and then suddenly begin to fret and whine that no one wants to help you in children’s ministry. If you want to raise-up pew potatoes, all you have to do is nothing. But if you want to raise-up a group of children that will love the church and love serving others, then help them take ownership in their church by getting them involved.
Maybe you are thinking “what can kids do”? The list is endless. They can pick up paper around the church. They can use puppets in outreach settings such as the nursing home and parks. They can share object lessons or short stories in a younger Sunday school class. They can sing specials or as part of a praise team. They can file visuals or make bulletin boards. Children can write notes to the visitors or absentees. They can serve as Watchman on the Row. They can perform a number of janitorial duties. They can serve as the sound and lighting crew or any other technical requirements. They can put together newsletters or manage your web site. Children have talents that need to be used.
I believe there are three vital steps in involving children in ministry:
1. Help them see the need.
2. Train them.
3. Give them opportunity.