Monday, August 13, 2012

Children and Service

Teaching our children about God and living out our faith before them is important, but there's another thing we want to teach them, and that's to serve.

My oldest, just left of the shark--on a fun day on their missions trip.
Recently my four older children went on a youth missions trip with our church youth group. This is something they do every year instead of going to a church camp, and I love it. They get to meet other kids their age, attend fun youth Bible meetings once or twice a day where they hear God's word and have those mountaintop experiences, and do something good for others. Often they're roofing or painting a house and, through teamwork, they get the job done in the five days they're on the job. They work hard, but they also see the joy of the homeowners, and have seen people saved as a result of their work. Many of our church kids have been saved on these missions trips and others have rededicated their lives to God.

As easy as it is to help my kids pack for that trip every year...
It's not the church's responsibility to teach my kids to serve. It's ours as parents. 
My younger daughter and a church lady she helps.
To do that there are several things we've done. Our church has a clothing room for the community and we spend one morning a week there helping the ladies who run it.

Another way to teach your children to serve is by helping with the set-up and clean-up for church dinners. Wiping tables and putting away the tables and chairs isn't the funnest job around, but it's a great way to teach the kids to help in any way they can, even if it seems small and insignificant.

Last Spring we discovered another way to serve. A well loved man in our church died, and as is custom, one of the Sunday School classes was in charge of the funeral meal for their large family. They needed help and contacted a younger class, the one I attend. We not only prepared dishes to bring, but we spent the day serving the meal. Set-up, serving, and clean-up. The older ladies were thankful for young legs to do much of the running and, once again, my girls saw another side of christian women in action. It means giving up a day of working at home and a day of school for the girls, but it's worth it.

My older daughter, roofing on a missions trip.
As we've served together, we've noticed something. There are two kinds of servants: those that serve out of duty and those that serve with a smile. We've spent time talking about this in our family, and we've talked about the results. Sadly, the kids have noticed those that serve out of duty because they tend to snap at others or are sullen as they serve, but it has made them see the importance or serving with a smile and with a good attitude. They also have seen people that serve out of love and the difference that love and their smiles make.

Let's be sure to teach our children to serve God in every way, and in any way they can. And more importantly, let's teach them the importance of serving with a smile.

Serving out of love for God and love for others is the key to serving.

2 comments:

  1. Love this, Peejers. I have so much to learn from you - I am LOVING these posts about raising your kids. SO much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it! I love seeing kids helping out and doing it with a smile, instead of a frown. The difference between "serving out of duty" and "serving with a smile" like you said. Great message, Patty!

    ReplyDelete

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