When we think  missions in kidmin, often our default is: a) teach about foreign missionaries or b) collect money or “stuff” for missions.  Both of these things are great!  But I know in my life, I didn’t really “get” living on mission and serving others without DOING something.  However, the other challenge is that it can be challenging to find projects that kids can do.  While grown-ups can go paint a house, a kid will make a mess. 🙂

Here’s what we’ve learned about creating events/projects/trips that get kids outside of their own little worlds and living on mission:

  • Kids want to serve.  What happens when you say to a group, “I need a helper.”  They’re knocking each other over to help.  While kids are naturally selfish (as are adults!) they like to do stuff and when encountered with situations their hearts grow softer faster than adults’ hearts.
  • It is important (and challenging) to find something that kids are really doing – not just watching grown-ups do.
  • You have to plan these events in much more detailed fashion than you would a grown-up project.   Anyone in kidmin knows that dead time, waiting, and uncertainty are ingredients for kid chaos.
  • You have to find a project that is safe.  Roofing and hanging out in inner-city alleys may be challenging, but are a disaster waiting to happen.
  • You need a lot of adults.  Adults need to be trained to help kids serve, not jump in and do the project themselves.  They also have to be trained to coach kids to serve and to be patient with their immaturity.  Sometimes it is hard for adults to remember that kids aren’t going to act like kids.
  • Identify if your project is for families or just kids.  I’ve been leaning more towards family projects.  I think the potential for the impact sticking is greater when the family does it together and creates a memory.

Planning missional events/projects for kids is challenging but it is definitely worth it.  I wonder what our future church will look like if this generation catches a vision to live on mission even before they hit middle school?