Devotional for Children on Ministering to Others

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Mission (1 of 3): Team Effort

For dad only:

Coach the Team

Coaches show the team how to play the game. It works like this: 1) the coach demonstrates while the team observes him, 2) the team practices while the coach advises and encourages them, 3) the team plays with the coach at a distance. Eventually those team members can coach others in what they have learned.

Witness while they watch

The best way to teach your children to represent Christ to a lost world is to let them see you do it. Let them see you share compassion with the lost. Let them see you pray with a hurting soul. Let them hear you share the gospel with someone hungry for truth.

Explain the importance of sharing the faith

Do more than set an example. Talk about the principles and importance of reaching the world for the Lord. Children can do soul-winning, perhaps even better than we can as adults. Lead them in praying for the lost. Help them memorize the scriptures they will need to help reach others. Share with them your story of how you came to the Lord.

Involve them in ministry

Stop just attending church. Start becoming involved. Find ways to help out with the maintenance, growth, and development of your church. Have them help pray with people in the altar. Get them involved in choir, puppet ministry, and outreach.

I grew up doing ministry as a lifestyle, not an event. My parents brought my brother and I, along as they did full-time children evangelism. We were not passengers, however. We helped set up and take down equipment. We prayed with children in the altar. Our ministry as a family was team work; just as any church’s should be. Invite your kids to the team; for a while you get to be their captain.

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Read this to the kids:

Part of a Winning Team

Rusty and Dad followed the trail through the woods until they saw the lake. Some of the dads and sons were paddling canoes together, some were on paddle boats, and some were swimming at the shore.

As they rounded a bend in the lake, they could see the rope swing. It hung there over the water, just swinging in the gentle breeze. Dad bumped Rusty in the arm and said, “Hey, now that looks like fun. You want to get wet?”

Rusty frowned. “I thought my friend and his dad were going to be over here.”

“Which friend is that?”

“Carter. He’s kind of new at church.”

“Oh, yeah,” Dad said, “his dad just started coming, right?”

Rusty nodded. They both stopped when they saw someone sitting on the shore.

“Carter?” Rusty asked.

The boy turned and looked up at them. His eyes were red like he had been crying.

“Are you okay?” Rusty asked.

Carter looked down and shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

Rusty walked down to him. “Where’s your dad?”

The boy shrugged. “He had to go.”

Rusty sat down beside him. “Well, I don’t want you to be all alone. We can hang out with you. Dad and I were talking about swinging on the rope ourselves. You want to join us?”

“It’s easy for you!” the boys spat through hot tears. “Your dad doesn’t have any problems. I don’t even know my dad.”

Rusty glanced back at his dad who still stood on the trail with his arms crossed. “What do you mean?” Rusty asked his friend.

Carter said, “My dad has a drinking problem. I don’t even know who he is because I hardly ever see him when he’s not drunk. I don’t think he even knows himself.”

“You think that is where he is now?” Rusty asked.

“I’ll bet he is. He said he had to take care of some business. That’s what he always says when he goes to the bar or the liquor store. I don’t want him coming back here drunk. Not in front of everyone.”

Now Rusty felt like crying. He put his arm around Carter and looking back said, “Dad, could we pray for him?”

“Sure!” Dad came down and squatted on the other side of Carter.

“Jesus?” Rusty began, “Carter is hurting really bad about what is happening with his dad. He needs you to help him right now.”

Dad prayed next. “Lord, I pray for Carter’s dad. Doug needs you right now. Help him overcome this addiction. He needs your help to break the chains and be free. Talk to his heart right now, Lord. Let him see his mistake. Show him how important his family is. In Jesus’ name.”

“Carter,” Rusty said, “do you want to pray now?”

Carter was still crying. He nodded and wept, “Please Jesus. Please Jesus.” Then he just cried some more. Dad and Rusty stayed with him until he felt better.

•      •       •

Back at the camp, Rusty, Dad, and Carter arrived just as Carter’s dad was parking his Jeep. Dad was talking with Pastor about the situation. Rusty and Carter had been talking about the frogs and turtles they had seen in the lake.

Carter watched his dad walk up the path to their picnic table. Rusty looked away; he did not want to stare at either of them.

Carter’s dad came and sat down at the table beside his son. He set a brown paper bag on the table in front of him.

“You brought it here?” Carter said, his face turning red.

“What? Lunch? Is there some rule against eating lunch here?” He pulled out a couple sandwiches.

Dad and Pastor walked up closer to the table just as Carter said, “That’s what you went to buy? I was afraid you were going to get beer.”

Carter’s dad looked at him for a moment and then up at Pastor. He looked at the bag in front of him. “Yes,” he said thoughtfully, “I did. It started calling me and I had to go have a drink. I bought a six pack, but when I took the first taste I suddenly hated it. I spit it out on the ground.” Carter’s dad started to cry. “I got so mad at myself I threw all that beer out. I decided to do something nice for you, so I bought you lunch.”

Carter leaned against him and said, “Thanks, Dad.”

Pastor came around the table and put his arm around the man’s shoulder. “Doug, God is working in your life. He is healing you of your addiction.”

“I’ve tried so hard!” the man said.

“I know, but we have to have His help.” Pastor said, pointing upward. “Doug, I used to be an alcoholic. I used to drink a 30 pack every weekend—and that’s not counting how many pints I would put down at the bar on Friday night.”

“What did you do to stop?” Carter’s dad asked.

“I fell on my knees at the front of the church and told God I was sorry for my wicked ways. He cleaned me up, Doug. I have been sober for 25 years.”

Carter’s dad wiped his eyes with sleeves of his T-shirt. “I want to know more, Pastor. I want to be free.”

_______

Now discuss it!

What do you think Rusty thought when Carter first started crying?

 

When he found out what was wrong, how do you think he felt?

 

What would you do if you were in a situation like that?

 

Who do you know that you can encourage?

 

Why do you think Rusty asked his dad to help them pray?

 

How did it help to have their pastor talk to Carter’s dad?

 

Rusty discovered that the church is like a team. You cannot win lost souls by yourself. How is your church like a team? Who does certain things others cannot do?

_________

Read God’s Word together:

Moses Builds His Team

 

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.

And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.

(Exodus 18:13-27, KJV)

_________

Let’s talk about it!

How was Moses killing himself?

By trying to do it all.

 

Do you ever take on projects you think you can do alone but find out you cannot?

 

How does it help to have someone else join you to get something done?

 

What wise counsel did Moses’ father-in-law give him?

 

What kind of men did they select for this work?  (18:21)

 

Role play: You get a kit that has no instructions. You really want to do this project, but you are not sure of the details. If you do it on your own, you will have all the fun, but you might get something wrong and mess it up. Your brother/sister has done this kind of project before and could probably help you figure it out. If you ask for help, he or she might try to take over. What do you do?

You find a child crying because his life is really bad right now. He says he does not even want to live any more. What do you do?

Dad, your kids and other family members should be taught that a suicidal person should not be taken lightly. A serious issue of this nature or issues of child abuse/endangerment should be reported to the authorities. However, we can always pray.

 

_________

Memorize it!

Galatians 6:1-2

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault,

ye which are spiritual,

restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Bear ye one another’s burdens,

and so fulfil the law of Christ.

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