When my children were little, and among the youngest people in my church’s children’s ministry, they had some great teachers. Serving on the church staff gave me a vantage point to watch these teachers make an impact on my kids. Here are six ways preschool and children’s teachers can make a big impact on the littlest people in our churches.
- Regularly write handwritten notes to kids. I can remember how excited my kids were to receive a note in the mail from their Sunday School teacher. Kids still like to know that someone sent them something through the mail, so start writing if you’re a teacher of younger people!
- Get down on their level to greet them. This is especially true for leaders who teach preschoolers. Getting down on one knee, smiling, and high-fiving a child who is entering your classroom sets the tone for a great day of Bible study and exploration. Always look a preschooler in the eye and say, “I’m glad you came to church today.”
- Recognize birthdays. This ties back to #1 above since a birthday is a big deal to a child. Make sure you send a card (or gift) to honor each child’s birthday. It’s their big day!
- Pray for them. Having your ministry list (class role) handy at all times will remind you to pray for one or two kids a day. Mom and dad are praying for them, so join the team and lift up these little ones to your Heavenly Father. As you pray for them, pray for their salvation, and pray for their families. Kids today need to see mom and dad’s strong relationship.
- Schedule ongoing ministry projects that include mom and dad. A Saturday project around the church or at a local school can be the perfect occasion to get families together, create fellowship and relationship opportunities for moms and dads, and give kids a meaningful project they can do. It’s never too early to teach a child they are not too young to give back and to serve others.
- Plant gospel seeds. This is one of the great joys of teaching children – you are often one of the first adults to tell them “Jesus loves you, this I know…” Some of you will not see one of your classroom kids make a profession of faith this year, but you’ll see it happen in time, and you can celebrate the fact God used you to share the gospel with that child. As Paul said in I Corinthians 3, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow…the one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor” (3:6-9).
If you happen to teach adults or students, you can do all of these things, too (except for #2!) – that might be a little weird. God has you in a position to make a difference. So to quote from a favorite TV series of mine, “Make it so.”