I still remember, while in ministry at the local church, the first time a kid came up to me and asked, “Wanna play Shadow?” I replied, “What’s that?” The child replied, “What’s that?” I was busted.
This game would allow the child to repeat everything that came out of my mouth. I would say silly things just to get him to repeat my words, and talk about how great someone was just to get him to voice the same statements.
Shadow was a fun game—when played at the right time.
When we think of the goal living like Christ (our eighth goal of the 8 Goals of AG Kidmin
), we need to compare it to playing Shadow.
How can we help children imitate an invisible Jesus? How do we show them what Jesus would do—how He would think, and the way He would process the situations in the world?
We must first practice it ourselves. Paul had it correct when he said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV).
The goal of living like Christ can be big and broad. If we are not careful, we can turn what should be a positive approach to mentoring into a negative approach of discipline.
Consider this situation: A child doesn’t want to participate in part of the Sunday morning worship. Which of the following statements you might make places Jesus in the proper context according to 1 Corinthians 11:1?
“I bet if Jesus were here, He’d be worshiping and following directions.”
“You know, sometimes I don’t feel like worshiping either, but I know that when I obey Jesus and give Him my worship, I find my heart drawing closer to Him. Do you think we should be close to Jesus?”
Since living like Christ could become a catchall for everything, consider the following insights to make them work for you:
1. Narrow the focus.
Define how living like Christ”will be different from the other goals you have for your kids. Since prayer is already a goal, don’t include it here. Instead, use things like being baptized in water, taking communion, and growing in the fruit of the Spirit.
2. Keep it relational.
It’s easy to make the goals more about a standard to keep than about growing in our relationship with God. Jesus and the Father are “One.” That is a relational understanding. When teaching or modeling Living like Christ, becoming closer to the Father should be the focus.
3. Faith on display.
Hebrews 10:24 (NIV) instructs us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Your children’s ministry should be marked by leaders who are setting the example for children, not just reprimanding when they are out of line.
The truth of the matter is, kids are “playing Shadow” with you every time they are together. They are watching you and learning from you. Though they may not repeat the actions perfectly or instantly, as you live like Christ, they will imitate that in what they say and do.
Today, why not strive to be a shadow worth replicating.
Want to explore additional goals for your children’s ministry? Visit our 8 Goals for AG Kidmin
8 Goals Resources: MyHealthyChurch.com/8goals
8 Goals eTraining