As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids. This is number 54 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.
This one really doesn’t need an explanation. If your children are upwards of ten years old, then they can easily host a devotional for younger children. Of course, these younger children could be the children in your congregation or they could be community kids. Help your children plan a Bible theme, like “The Big Fish” (the book of Jonah) or “The Men Who Would Not Bow” (Daniel 3) or “When a Lame Man Walked”(Acts 3-4). Practice the storytelling and related songs with your kids. Make visuals or plan to use puppets to tell the story or help your kids dress up as Bible characters as they tell the story. Make sure your children are prepared to pray with the younger ones.
Make little invitations with your kids or have your kids invite the children personally. Alternately, if you are inviting children from your congregation, your kids could write out the invitation and submit it to the one who is making public announcements or to whomever prepares the bulletin. It’s important to let the kids pick the theme (with help and advice) and do the legwork and artwork. It’s important to specify the ages of children who are invited on the invitation, as well. Having kids present, who are older than the hosting kids, may intimidate the hosts, especially the first time around (and you really want this to be successful). On the other hand, having babies present (especially without moms) may also distract from your children’s ability to focus and complete their plans. Just think ahead and try to make the big day whopping success for your own children, by indicating, on the invitation, just who the devotional is targeting. It saves last minute angst. Then be loving and gracious when the day comes if there are hitches in your original plan. Remember, the goal is servant hearts in your kids, so, in every Mama’s K.I.S.S. activity you are, most importantly, modeling the behavior of the Lord.
As the time draws near, practice a game or activity with your kids– a Bible verse scavenger hunt or a sidewalk tic-tac-toe game where questions must be answered before the Xs and Os can be placed. It could be a treasure map locating theme-related favors or preparation of a Bible food. Any of these activities should be related to the devotional story your kids are telling and your activity should be something kids can complete within a thirty or forty minute time period.
Snacks and favors are optional, but your kids might love to make or buy story-related snacks. Pinterest is a great source for ideas. Be sure, if you are hosting community kids, to include info about the church in any favor bags.
Just be sure to let your kids take ownership of this little event. Talk about young souls that are being influenced while you are preparing. Then have fun with this!