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I Don’t Need My Name in Lights: Teaching Kids How to Shine for God

Leadership / Spiritual Formation / Teaching Techniques //

This month in our Sunday night children’s program called KidVenture, we are studying how to “Shine for God.”  We are looking at different stories in the Bible where God has called people to serve Him:  Gideon, Samuel, the Disciples, and Us.  We are learning how God used them to do some pretty cool things.  These are just a few of the MANY people in the Bible where God has called people to serve Him, to do great things in His name.  I’m excited about the month and all that the children will learn about shining for God!

But how do we teach children to shine for God without being in the spotlight?  What are we (as parents and as Kidmin leaders) doing to help kids see that serving God is important, but to make sure we don’t do it for our glory?   I think a simple way is by OUR actions.  Kids learn by example.  How are you reacting to situations?  How do you handle praise from someone?  Are you always wanting to be front and center?  Do you crave attention?  Do you always expect someone to thank you for what you did?  Do you complain in front of your kids about how no one in the church thanked you for what you did?  The way we handle or react to situations speaks a lot, especially to children.

My goal for this month is for our teachers to communicate to the children that they are EACH called to shine for God.  To do great things for Him.  To not ignore that feeling they are getting about doing something that they know is right.  To step out in faith and do what God wants them to do.  To SHINE for God, but to always remember that we don’t do it for our glory, but we do it for the glory of the Lord.

I think the same applies for those of us who serve as leaders of children in the church.  Don’t plan an event, lead a Bible study, invent a cool new game, get tons of kids to come to your VBS, make some awesome decorations for your space, or take kids on a retreat and expect to be thanked for it.  Don’t expect your name to “be in lights” at your church.  Don’t be upset when no one recognizes all the hard work you put in.  Be humble.   When we serve God we should never expect praise for ourselves.  If you are thanked, remember to give the praise and glory to God who gave you the ability to do these things.

Today as I was driving in the car I heard a new song from Francesca Battistelli called “He Knows My Name.”  The chorus of the song says:

“I don’t need my name in lights.  I’m famous in my Father’s eyes.  Make no mistake.  He knows my name.  I’m not living for applause.  I’m already so adored.  It’s all His stage.  He knows my name.”

When you are teaching children to shine for God, help them to know that God knows their name.  They don’t have to be on the stage front and center to do amazing things for God.  No need to be in the spotlight.  They can do some pretty awesome things right where they are. They are adored and loved by God already.  When we do what God wants us to do, we are serving on HIS stage.  Not ours.  Teach kids that Jesus is our light and we should always follow him.  John 8:12 says, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  

Shining for God means doing what God wants you to do.  You can still shine for God and stay out of the spotlight.  You just got to be humble and remember to give all the praise to God.  In doing so, the kids in your ministry and your own kids will learn how to serve God and truly shine for Him.

Now get out there and…..”Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory”!

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About the Author

Vanessa Myers has been in the ministry for 13 years serving in Youth Ministry & Children’s Ministry and currently serving as the Children’s Director at Dahlonega UMC. She has found that children’s ministry is her passion. She enjoys sharing the love of Jesus with all children, teaching the kids the Bible stories in fun and exciting ways, and planting seeds in the spiritual lives of these children. Vanessa has found another calling to be one of encouraging other Children’s Ministers and loves to write and share her experiences on her blog. Vanessa and her husband, Andrew, have 2 daughters and live in Dahlonega, GA. You can follow Vanessa on Twitter at: vtmyers0921.