by Gay Wall/ August 20, 2015
I like this definition of mentorship: “Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.”
Outreaches provide mentorship opportunities. Kids want to learn and we need to teach them. Outreaches are “real-time,” practical ways to train kids who are full of energy and need to have hands-on experiences with how God can use them. In a visual world of fast-action video games, our kids need to see the reality of their lives intersecting with the real world in a way that highlights that their participation matters. Outreaches do just that.
Our church's regional organization uses Project GO, a weeklong in-state missions’ outreach for fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students, as one opportunity to provide hands-on involvement for kids. These kids learn how to reach out to neighborhood children, lead another child to Christ, work as a team, and help others. By the end of the week, we have trained the kids to minister by using their gifts during various events and services.
Project GO is just one example of how outreaches can be utilized in a regional organization or local church. Children should be mentored in their local church and given opportunities to use their gifts in service and ministries. This can happen in children’s church, girls’ and boys’ ministries, service ministries, and a variety of other ways. Whether your church is involved in feeding the hungry, health fairs, giving clothes to the needy, after-school programs, or other community services, you can always find creative ways to involve your kids in ministry.
There are no movies, video games, or books that can give our kids the sense of God’s power in their lives like the actual firsthand experience of seeing changed lives that came about from God personally using them. In Luke 10, the seventy-two that Jesus sent out returned to him excited about how God used them. Our kids need this too. Seeing the Word of God colliding with the real world can ignite a passion for lifelong service to a generation that is often labeled the “me” generation. It really is about “Him!”
Do you involve your children in outreach events? If not, what can you do to involve them in outreach?