Mandi McKibben is a field editor for World Aflame curriculum. Small acts of kindness make a lasting impact on students.
Acts of Kindness
One Sunday, one of our little boys that rode the bus came to children’s church with a pair of shoes that literally fell apart. We quickly applied some duct tape and went on with class. I noticed one of our teachers missing but didn’t think much about it. Soon she came in with a bag that contained a new pair of shoes for that boy. He sat enamored with his new shoes, touching them over and over.
It was a small kindness that showed a little boy how much he was loved and cared for. We’ll likely never know the impact this gift had on him.
Going beyond the Curriculum
Another week, someone donated toothbrushes and placed them in the prize box along with candy and small toys. Almost all the kids who rode the bus chose toothbrushes. Some commented that they didn’t have a toothbrush at home; others had to share toothbrushes with their siblings.
Reaching students requires being sensitive to the Spirit and to the needs of your students.
I cried at the simple joy they found in a toothbrush I figured would sit in the prize box until the day I randomly throw out the prizes no one wants.
The Sunday school and youth teams took it upon themselves to “adopt” three bus kids for Christmas. They came from a split home. They lived with mom who was really an aunt, and she had been diagnosed with stage four cancer and didn’t have long to live. People gifted them with clothes, shoes, winter coats, hats, gloves, games, toys, and books.
Their mom cried and sent us a message of how appreciative she was that people cared about her kids. When she passed, a family in the church drove forty-five minutes each way to pick up the kids from their dad’s house. They kept all three kids (in addition to their own six) all weekend long so that they could go to church and participate in any activities. They provided food, hygiene items, life lessons, love, and care.
How You Can Help
One teacher kept a blanket and pillow in her closet for a student who often came to class overly tired. Some attended school activities. Others provided tutoring, mentoring, meals, and rides to the dentist or doctor. Others provided funds for students to attend activities, camps, and field trips.Practicing random acts of kindness may be as simple as sharing a kind word, listening to problems, or giving a high five or hug. Click To Tweet
Being a children’s ministry worker goes beyond the curriculum. You can do all the activities, teach the story, say the prayers, and make cool crafts, yet fail to reach your students. Reaching students requires being sensitive to the Spirit and to the needs of your students.
Practicing random acts of kindness may be as simple as sharing a kind word, listening to problems, or giving a high five or hug. It may require more from you. However, it is those things you do beyond the curriculum that can have the greatest impact on your students’ lives as those are often times where Jesus can shine through you, and students can learn that God really loves and cares for them.
Resources and Links
Are you looking for Christmas gifts for students? Consider the following resources:
Children’s Books from the Rowland Team
Must-Reads for Children and Youth