“It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
There is not much that ranks higher on the list of things we should teach children than a love for serving. We are to be compelled by our love for Christ into serving. Here are 5 practical ways you can instill a love for serving in those that you lead at church or in your children at home.
1. Serve together. Involve entire families in the serving process.
2. Do something that a kid can do well. Although young kids may not be able to build a house or paint someone’s fence, they can serve food to homeless with a smile on their face. Kids will connect when they feel they are doing well and are making a difference. Teach children to speak to those they serve and try to treat them like Jesus would treat them.
3. Do something practical where you can see immediate fruit. Pass out clothes to a family who lost their home in a fire, or sort canned goods and then stay for when they distribute them. As kids see needs met, they’ll understand the great need to serve.
4. Help them understand it doesn’t have to be organized on a Saturday morning. Challenge kids to take someone’s lunch tray or to be generous with their school supplies when someone needs something. Teach them to watch for needs that they can meet.
5. Let the kids choose where and how to serve. If they would rather give out bottled water (must be sealed) at a local baseball game or go clean the house of someone who has been in the hospital than go serve a meal at the soup kitchen or go play games at a nursing home, then let them.
Cast the vision that serving is not about us and all about meeting the needs of others.
Teaching children to love to serve is one of the best ways to set them up to be servants throughout their life.
Give kids a chance to serve, and teaching them to love it will just happen!