Let the Kids Lead

It's time we start giving kids the opportunity to lead in the church. 

As you look through Scripture, you will see that kids were often given the opportunity to lead.

Here's an example found in Matthew 21. 

...and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things He did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. "Yes,” replied Jesus, "have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

Jesus was all for children helping lead the way in the Temple that day.  And I believe He is also for kids helping lead the way today. 

Here are a few things to consider about this.

1. There is no "Jr. Holy Spirit."  Kids can be led and controlled by the Spirit of God just like any adult can.  Throughout scripture we see kids being used by God.  The boy giving his lunch to Jesus.  David defeating Goliath.  The little maid helping Naaman get healed.  As we just read, children leading the way to praise Jesus in the temple.

2. Kids have a heart to serve.   Have you ever asked a group of kids who would like to help with something?  Hands will shoot up everywhere.  Kids naturally have a heart to help others.  It is when they get older, that they stop raising their hand as often.  Why?  In some cases, they have been told they are too young.  That they don't have the abilities needed.  That they should sit still and be quiet.  That they have to wait until they are a certain age.  This type of treatment causes kids to eventually stop raising their hand and saying "no" to serving as adults.

3.  Kids will act like kidsKids are wired to move.  They are full of energy.  Don't expect them to turn it off when it's time to serve.  This may mean putting them in a role that allows them to use their energy.  It might be helping with worship so they can jump around.  It might be helping lead a fun, energetic game or activity.  Instead of squelching them, help them grow and flourish with the gifts God has given them. 

4. Make a list of the different ways kids can lead in your congregation.  Take the initiative in this and create a list of ways kids can serve at church.  Share the list with kids who want to serve and help guide them into a role that matches their gifts and talents.

5. Provide them with coaching and feedback.  Don't stick them in a role and forget about them.  Be intentional about encouraging and challenging them.  Use this as a time to help them grow spiritually. 

6. Realize that kids who serve are more likely to not walk away from the faith when they get older.  Stats show that kids who get involved in serving are less likely to walk away from their faith when they are grown.  There is something about serving that activates your faith.  That brings a passion for Christ into your life.  That brings joy as you watch God at work through you. 

Your turn.  Do you give kids the opportunity to serve at your church?  What are some roles you allow them to serve in?  What are some other guidelines you follow for kids serving?  Share your thoughts, ideas and insight in the comment section below.