We’ve got some incredible student volunteers in our ministry. Students as young as sixth grade, all the way up to seniors in high school, are critical members of our kids' ministry team. We wouldn’t be as strong without them.
And when I have an audience with my student volunteers, there are three things I want them to remember:
1. Be present. I mean, really be present with the kids. Get eye level with them, smile and let them know that you want to hear all that they have to say. Play with them, ask about their dog and tell them about yours. There is a big difference between you and me. I remind these kids of their mom. You are like the big brother/sister who actually plays with them. This is your chance to be someone’s hero. So have some fun.
Worship with them. When they hear you sing and watch you dance, they’ll join in. Encourage them with your facial expressions and your words. Test me in this ... I can promise you, there is nothing cooler than engaging a kid in worship. You want a quick high? It can’t be beat.
2. Be aware. Safety is monumental when working with kids. Just because a kid says they want to be swung by their feet, doesn’t make it a good idea.
Know the safety processes in your area. It isn’t just smart ... it’s impressive.
3. Be mindful. Not everything that pops into your head should come out of your mouth. Be careful about what you say, and how you say it, around kids. They have this funny ability to repeat what you said about your brother’s ugly nose hairs. Some things are better left unsaid.
You make kids' ministry better. Not just because you’re fun, but also because in this season of your life, you have a way of influencing a kid in a way most adults cannot. Kids see you and they want to walk in your shoes. They want to follow you.
So be someone worth following.
Leverage this time in your life for something that really matters. Invest yourself in these kids so they walk away from church knowing that someone important (you) believes in them.
Gina McClain is a speaker, writer & Children’s Ministry Director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn.