After a sweltering 91 degrees in St. Louis the other day, I'm reminded that summer break provides an excellent opportunity to sow into their lives, teaching them to be Jesus' light as they sow into the lives of others.
One way to sow into your child's life is to simply spend time with them, discovering the Bible together or working together on an activity that he or she may enjoy. On LHM's www.jcplayzone.com, you will find Bible Stories, matched with a corresponding coloring page, to teach them about the Word of God. You will also find daily devotions, each with a Bible verse and prayer. You can spend time in the Bible, learning more about Jesus together and discussing what you've each learned.
Create a craft or recipe with your child, play a fun online game together, or listen to sing-along songs, which can all be found at www.jcplayzone.com. Share your recipes or crafts with a friend, neighbor, or family member who may not know the love of Jesus. As your child grows in God's Word, they will also be positioned to impact others in their sphere. Teach your child what a blessing it can be to give -- that just a small gesture can express the love of Jesus to brighten someone's day.
Not long ago, a group of neighborhood children got together in Arizona and downloaded the Bee Attitudes coloring book offered by JC Play Zone, customizing them with each child's name on the front. On the back, they offered a word of encouragement. They then hung them on each neighbor's door with a small pack of colored pencils. How's that for a mini outreach servant event? Everyone got involved as the kids printed the booklets, moms and dads participated in the delivery process, and the group gathered for cookies and punch to chat and pray together afterwards. Kids serving kids -- that's what it's all about!
To invest in your child's spiritual (and social) growth, remember to include him or her in an interactive activity (or two) with peers -- whether it's an athletic team, a camp or Vacation Bible School -- or assist them in coordinating their own mini outreach event with their friends. Not only will such activities occupy their time and help them expel energy, your child will build confidence by learning to work well with others as part of a team. This may prepare them to serve alongside others as part of a church body in their adulthood.
Significantly, your child may also begin to recognize unique characteristics they've been granted as God's distinctive creation. By providing numerous opportunities to explore, you will help your child identify his or her interests and talents. This will aid their development for future success, both spiritual and professional.
Although it's easier to give in to your child's desire to watch television, play video games or interact with others over the Internet this summer, nothing can replace the spiritual and personal benefits of quality time spent with family and peers. Take advantage of the many opportunities to sow into your child's life. And, when you need some down time, you can safely send them to www.jcplayzone.com on their own, where they can play with a purpose.
Equipping to Share Newsletter, June 3rd, 2009