Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

How do we make sure our kids have a servant’s heart?

on May 22, 2012

We have a sixth grader in our ministry. She seems to be pretty mature for her age. She isn’t loud, isn’t pushy, isn’t whiny. As a matter of fact, she’s going to spend a month in Africa this summer. She’s going to Sierra Leone to minister to sick people in hospitals, bring eyeglasses to people who need them, and evangelize on the weekends using the Jesus film. I am so extremely proud of her.

Then we have sixth graders who whine. They complain about the games. They goof off during the lessons. Frankly, some of them are selfish. But, how do we have such distinctly different kids coming out of the same ministry? Is it all about maturity and attitude of the child? Well, this could be a part of it. But, believe it or not,  the major part of insuring that our kids have a servant’s heart doesn’t come from the ministry that our kids attends. This attitude comes from home.

When you look at your kids, you need to ask yourself, “what am I doing?” Where do you serve throughout the week? Do you come to one service every Sunday and think you’ve got your fill for the week? Do you serve in a church ministry? How about at a school or community based group?Even more than that, are you filling yourself and your family up in order to want to serve others? Do you spend time in devotions alone? With your spouse? With your kids?

I stayed with a family when I was in Africa. They were missionaries in Choma, Zambia and were raising their kids there as well. They taught their kids to not only serve the less fortunate Zambian people, but to also serve the Americans who came to serve the Zambians as well. The girls did minor medical work, tutored other kids, and fixed our team meals. The boys did different things around the house and helped educate the men on getting jobs and providing for their families.  Any guess what these kids are doing now? Well, one of them is finishing up college where he was studying to be a missionary pilot. One of them is studying to be a teacher in a third world country, and one a nurse to those who can’t afford healthcare. The fourth child is still in high school.

I know another family. Both parents worked in the church and love the Lord. When they came home they didn’t serve other people. They thought that working in a church was enough. They didn’t reach out to the “least of these.” They didn’t do Bible studies and devotionals with their kids. They figured, the people hired at their church were much more qualified for that job. They got tired and complained about the difficulty of their jobs and their children noticed. What are their kids doing now? Their son was addicted to drugs for a long time, and is now in prison. Their daughter is an atheist and has children with a few different men, making her a single mom.

What’s the difference here? How can two “good” families end up with such different results? I have one word for you – Demonstration! Now, I’m not saying that in order for your kids to grow up with a servant’s heart you need to live in Africa. What I am saying is, your kids will do exactly what you teach them. You’ve heard the old saying – Actions speak louder than words! Serve the least of these, reach out to the needy, teach your kids about the love of the Lord. You’ll be surprised with the awesome things that they will do if you just show them how!

For more information on this topic, read Teaching Servanthood


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