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One of the most requested topics this year on my speaking circuit has been a lesson in which I list a hundred ideas for training our kids to be servants. Service oriented kids grow up to be productive adult servants in the kingdom and it’s those people to whom the Lord will say, “Come ye blessed of my Father,” according to Matthew 25. So it matters if I’m making a real effort, as a mom, to put the heart of a servant in my child. For this reason, I’ve decided to devote a post, every now and then, to a service suggestion—a simple idea for moms to make their homes busy service centers for young hearts and hands. I’d love to hear from those of you who try them. So here goes:
Nursing Home Singing
Only six more Christmas caroling, candy cane crunching, cookie cutting, Claus kissing, Kris Kringling days left. If you haven’t started being good yet, it might be too late. But still, it’s worth a try.
This is a great time of year to take your children to sing for nursing home patients. You don’t have to have a group. You can just practice singing a couple of songs with your kids (Your repertoire works best if it’s familiar. My kids did a lot of “You are my Sunshine” for older people.) Then dress your children up and take them to a couple of rooms in the local nursing home and ask the residents if they’d like a song. You can even take them to the desk and ask if it would be okay for your kids to sing to the residents who are sitting in the lobby. This is a win-win activity. I have yet to meet the nursing home resident who didn’t like this. But, of course, the big winners are the children you take. They get the joy that comes from giving of themselves. They get the advantage of overcoming stage fright in this very small venue before it even threatens to limit their service. They may meet people who, though weak or crippled in body, are wise in spirit. Best of all, they will become accustomed to the smells and sounds of nursing homes at such young ages that they will be comfortable as the years go by serving in this environment where much service is needed and where Christians have daily opportunities to glorify God. They will develop the ability to be at ease with people who have diseased bodies and with those who have forms of dementia. All of this will make them better servants with more compassion. They will find it easier to be like our Father, who is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
Maybe you can make the time to put little Santa hats on your children and go sing this week. But, if not, be sure to plan to do it at some point in the new year (not the Santa hats…just the singing). I can promise you a very receptive audience at any time of year.