Years ago, before any of my children were even teenagers, I was involved in the children’s ministry at the church we attended and we went to a children’s conference. At this conference there was a family helping . . . the mother and her children of various ages from about 4 years to about 15 years, which she homeschooled. I remember what an impact they made on me and how I wanted that to be may family in the future.
A bit later, we were attended a different church. It was a very small country church. My children began helping out in the sound booth with the power point presentations for the songs during song service. Then they began to be interested in music/learning to play the guitar. One of the men in the church loaned them on to learn on and they were allowed to play during worship services on stage with the band. (Yes, a very small church.)
During the summer that year they had a type of conference where attendees would be on campus 24 hours a day for two weeks. They would have classes during the day and services in the evenings and be served three meals a day, with snacks after the evening service. They asked for help and so, I volunteered us. The boys would help in the sound booth and then help wherever else they were needed. Tiffany and I would primarily help out in the kitchen, although I did help out in the office beforehand and a small bit on different days as well.
We attended this church for four years and helped every time they had one of these conferences. There were sometimes week long conferences in March and one in October as well. It was during our stay at this church that the children learned to talk to people of all ages. There weren’t any kids their own age there, for the most part, so they learned to communicate well with all ages (except their own). They related well to the doctors, lawyers, ministers, as well as workmen, and anyone else, no matter what their profession.
I would have to say that this time period was the foundation for what they are and do today. Today, any time there is a need for a volunteer, they are eager and quick to lend a hand. They all give freely of the time and labor. They are comfortable being told what to do and going and getting it done, as well as seeing other things that need to be done and taking the initiative and handling it as well (as long as they know it is in an area they have the authority to do so).
One big part of cultivating a servant’s heart in your children is to have one yourself. You cannot expect your children to do something they do not see you do. I volunteered right alongside my children, each in the area were were qualified to help in. I was not thrilled with helping out in the kitchen in the beginning; I preferred helping in the office but through my willingness to do what needed to be done, I now LOVE working in the kitchen as a volunteer and do so whenever needed at our current church.
As important as it is to find outside areas to volunteer, it is just as important to allow children the opportunity to serve at home as well. Learning to do their part in the home without squabbling is a good place to continue their training.
Until next time, God bless,