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Giving Students an Opportunity to Serve

by Avery Foley on August 7, 2019
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
Help disciple the children in your Sunday school class by giving them opportunities to use their gifts to serve others.

Self-sacrifice and service are a huge part of growing in our walk with the Lord, honoring his command to esteem others as better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). But these can’t be learned without actually serving others! Help disciple the children in your Sunday school class by giving them opportunities to use their gifts to serve others.

Here are some practical ways to encourage service:

  • Assign students to help with attendance, set up for games or activities, and pass out Bibles, pencils, Class Notes, etc.
  • Students who arrive early can set up your planned Come-On-In activity for the day.
  • Ask students who are talkative or active to come and be your “special helper” in the Bible lesson by playing a role in a skit, reading a Bible passage, or writing Class Notes answers on the board.
  • Have students work in pairs or in small groups to complete the Class Notes or answer questions so they can help one another.
  • If a student doesn’t want to participate in a game, ask him or her to help by keeping score or accomplishing some other task as your assistant.
  • Of course, if a student really doesn’t want to serve in a specific way, don’t force them to or embarrass them. Try coming up with other ways they can serve that might fit better with their gift or comfort level.
  • Reward acts of service with encouragement or even a thank you note or small gift when students show initiative to help or lead or go above and beyond.
  • Ask all students to help with clean up at the end of class.
  • Consider a field trip to serve somewhere (with parental and church permission, of course). This could be as simple as serving at the church; cleaning classrooms; weeding the gardens; providing child care for a parents’ night out event (for older students); gathering together at your house to make a dinner or write encouragement cards for pastors, elderly, and shut-ins; or decorating for VBS or another special event. Or it might be more involved such as volunteering for a local ministry the church supports. Simply ask the church for a list of local ministries and start calling and asking how a group of young people could best serve them. The opportunities are endless!

Sometimes it can be more time-consuming or complicated to have children involved, but it’s worth it for the character that serving brings. So get creative and help them serve.

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