In yesterday's post about baptism, I mentioned that baptism helps us love children and families. I don't know about your church, but ours is full of little bitty babies, toddlers and small children. We've got a few middle and high schoolers (praying for more!). Whether you are a parent or not, married or single, young or old, we can love the church by loving the little ones among us. Here are some ways we can love children in the body.
Learn their names.
Engage them in conversation.
Pray for them.
Don't be afraid to be the grown-up.
But also, it's okay to play with them.
Encourage them when you see them doing something good.
Look for the best in them.
Be patient with their childish ways. Even crying in church.
In particular, I've seen the children in our church loved in these ways:
Take a toddler on a walk after church so the parents can have a undistracted conversation.
Write a note of encouragement to an older child about something you've noticed in him or her.
Ask an older child to volunteer for something.
Take a child on a special date.
Attend a child's sports game.
Hold a fussy baby.
Offer to chase an escaping toddler.
Overlook an offense.
Tell a child you're praying for him or her.
True story here. Several years ago, one our children and two of his friends were having a terrible time obeying and respecting their teacher in children's church. We decided to get our senior pastor involved; he and the teacher decided that the boys should report to Pastor Rick (who is very tall and kind of scary) each Sunday to see how class had gone. After a few weeks of check-ins, our pastor wrote notes to the boys, encouraging them to lean on Jesus to help them in their struggles. Once it seemed that the guys had turned a corner in their behavior, he took them out to the movies. How special is that? I myself felt very cared for in how our pastor loved our boy. This is just one instance of how our children have been loved by the members of our church.
Let's love the church by considering even the smallest members, remembering how Jesus loved and welcomed them. To such belongs the kingdom of heaven.
This is the 25th part in a series. Go here to read the series from the beginning. Go here to read over 700 other 31 Day series on all kinds of topics.