TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO SERVE
For years, I wasn’t sure if my sons were absorbing what they learned in BridgeKids. I’d ask Elijah what they talked about in class, and he’d look like a deer in headlights or respond with single word answers. When we’d read the Bible, Emmanuel would sometimes act like he’d never heard the story before, even when I knew it was one of the focus Scriptures that week. They never fussed or complained about church, but I was worried they weren’t all that engaged, even when I was their class leader.
I really wanted them to have Biblical male role models as well. So I was pleasantly surprised when they began to talk about Mr. Kevin. They were teasing him and poking fun, but I realized they were finally paying attention to what was happening at BridgeKids. One night we started talking about serving God and how they could serve at church when they were older. Emmanuel said he wanted to “do what Mr. Kevin does.” I was thrilled! Then, he and Elijah began talking about the previous day’s lesson and what Mr. Kevin had taught them about serving God in your job. I couldn’t believe they were sharing what they were learning without my prompting.
Emmanuel talked about how he wanted to work with technology to make websites for people to learn about God. And then Elijah piped up, saying, “BridgeKids need to have a website for kids to watch when they have to miss church because they are sick or away! Just like big church!” I recognized how engaged they were with Bridgeway, even the BCCTV we watch on the weeks we can’t attend service.
It’s been three years since we had that conversation, and now both of my boys, as well as my daughter, are serving in BridgeKids. They absolutely love it! In fact, it’s now hard for me to leave church on Sundays because I have to drag my three teenagers out of BridgeKids.
My daughter Kendall participates in the worship, as does Emmanuel. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he wanted to join the worship team, and the BridgeKids servants working with him were equally surprised. Several said they had never heard Emmanuel speak, let alone perform in front of others. But since joining the worship team, Emmanuel has grown in his devotional and prayer life, and he is so excited to be a part of worship that he never wants to miss, or be late to, practice or service.
Elijah, on the other hand, was adamant about not joining the worship team after his siblings got involved. He was supportive of them, but it wasn’t a good fit for his talents. He was thrilled when he was allowed to join the BridgeKids tech crew and so proud to wear his dark green shirt. He feels valued as a member of the team, and he talks all the time about the equipment and the skills he’s learned. Most importantly, he sees how there are many ways to serve God and others and how everyone is called to do different things.
I am so thankful for BridgeKids and the ways the leaders, including Mr. Kevin, invested in my children every week for so many years. I’m glad my kids have watched other adults love and serve the Lord, so they now see that practice as the norm and not an exception. BridgeKids nurtured the hearts of all my unique children, and I pray each one will continue to follow the examples they saw in BridgeKids.