Little opportunities for little hands

Recently we’ve been looking at how valuable it is to help children belong within their church family. Church leader and godparent Sammi shares how easy it is to come alongside families and help them feel equipped to nurture faith in children.

As a single person in the church, I have been blessed to be a part of so many families’ lives over the years. Friends who have children have expressed how valuable it is to create a wider community around their children. It brings a new dimension to their family dynamic and helps their children see church as a community. It’s also been a beautiful way for me to find family within the church.

A few years ago, a friend’s four year old daughter who had arrived at church early that morning, asked her mum if she could hang out with me while we were setting up.

Every Sunday morning, I would go down to church early to help set up the various spaces, as well as preparing the prayer room for the leaders to gather before the meeting. Little Ellie joined me in my expedition and helped me shuffle chairs around and prepare the room for people to use.

In our preparation, she asked if she could help me make our Pastor a cup of tea when he arrived. Initially I thought of all the dangers of young children and boiling water, but quickly realised that she could handle it, with very close supervision! So we prepared the tea.

For this little girl, the enjoyment of being allowed the responsibility of boiling the kettle, pouring the water and stirring the tea bag, gave her such a sense of purpose that Sunday morning. You should have seen her face light up when our Pastor came in the room and realised what she had done … Priceless!

Subsequently, each Sunday morning, my little friend was there – she asked me without fail if she could make our Pastor his cup of tea. She experienced such delight from this small act of service each week. She felt like she had a really important job to do when she came to church. And our Pastor didn’t mind either – she learned how to make a really great cup of tea!

Maybe there’s someone in your church that you can include in your family dynamic, to help your children feel like they belong in that community? Together, I’m sure you can find little things that your children can do to help them feel like they belong in your church too.

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