We all are called to a mission greater than ourselves. â€œThe second is equally important: â€˜Love your neighbor as yourself.â€™ No other commandment is greater than these.â€ (Mark 12:31) Our love should reach out to our neighbors and in turn, reach the world. But how do we get this message out to our kids? We can start by being an example, and then bring awareness of their neighbors to them and make a difference.
Be the example
Kids and even people in general, learn the most when watching. Show them what a true neighbor looks like. A neighbor includes: family, friends, those placed in authority, and even enemies. As an example, we should go out and choose to love our neighbors regardless of how they choose to treat us. When our neighbor gives us a dirty look, look back with loving eyes. When the elderly man who is constantly grumpy and speaks negatively towards you drops his cane, pick it up for him. By planting seeds of love in your neighborâ€™s heart, you are planting seeds of love in the hearts of the kids you minister to.
What is going on with your neighbor? Are they in pain? Are they in a time of need? Have they just made a big accomplishment in their life and want someone to celebrate with? You can make your kids aware of their neighbors by involving them. When your neighbor is in pain, have the kids make a card for them and take a small group of kids to their house to pray over them. When your neighbor is in a time of need, have your kids host a fundraiser for them if funds or needed or grab a group of kids to clean your neighborâ€™s home if they are depressed and their home is a mess. When your neighbor needs someone to celebrate with, involve the kids in planning a surprise party for them.
Make a difference
As you involve the kids and bring awareness to them, their creative juices start flowing and their desire to love their neighbors will significantly increase! Looking for ways to reach out to their neighbors will become natural to them and they will make a difference in their communities and have the means to change the world!
Get out into your community with the kids God has placed under you and show them what it truly means to love your neighbor. Lives will be changed and hearts will be filled with the love of God because you chose to make a difference!
Ashley Fordinal is the Childrenâ€™s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.