As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been presenting installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” This is number 37 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to have servant hearts. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.
This one is difficult. But most things with tremendous results take a lot of effort. This is one that potentially can yield big dividends.
It’s simple. You just strategically have those little friends from preschool or kindergarten or elementary school over to spend the night on Saturday night rather than on Friday. As I looked back over the Sunday morning ready-to-go-to-worship pictures that we took almost religiously to document childhoods at our house, it really surprised me how often there was an extra child or two in those photographs. Visiting the services once can turn into semi-regular attendance, which can slowly evolve into curiosity and visits on the part of parents. It is not unusual for a sleepover to lead to a personal Bible study with a child’s parents. As you know, there are plenty of well-intentioned parents out there who are not attending any worship services anywhere, but yet will give their permission for their children to attend with you following that Saturday night sleepover.
Of course, you have to put some safeguards in place, but this is a tried-and-true method. It is an evangelism starter kit. Trust me. I have worked this system.
Here are a few obvious measures you will want to take:
- Start the “party” early so the kids will have time to play before an early bedtime.
- Be sure ALL movies, activities are characteristic of faithful Christianity. (Remember that Jesus lives at your house.)
- Be sure you have your Family Bible time every Saturday night and that guests get to participate and learn.
- Be sure you get permission from parents to take their children to worship with your family.
- Be sure the bedtime is reasonable, but early enough for the kids to be fully awake and happy during Bible classes. (We found that nine or ten o’clock worked.)
- Follow all safety measures with visiting kids. (Buckle up, car seats, allergy rules, etc…You do NOT want to jinx a study by messing up on the comparatively little things.)
- Be sure there’s never any displayed anger or unnecessary negativity (especially about the church) in the ears of your little visitors.
- Make sure you pack the take-home materials from class in your little visitor’s backpack. You want him to discuss with his parents.
- Take the kids for treats after the worship sometimes. You are not bribing. You are enhancing the experience.
- Pray that your efforts will evolve into parental interest.
- Occasionally, send a loaf of homemade bread or an apple pie home with your little visitor.
- Be sure she knows you will stop and pick her up if she wants to come on Wednesday nights, too.
You can do this! The gospel often goes right through the heart of a child to the mind of that good mother who is raising him. You will see!