Your kiddos have a ton of opportunities to make friends – at school, in clubs, through sports. But you have an opportunity every weekend to cultivate Christian friendships among your children at church. Here are three simple ways to capitalize on what you’re already doing.
1. Prioritizing Group Activities
Rather than choosing pre-service games and toys meant to be played alone, choose games and toys that allow kids to participate together. Think through games and toys that allow them to work together or learn together or laugh together. Here’s an eBook we’ve created with ideas for Elementary-aged kids. And here’s one for Preschoolers.
Simple, I know. But let’s not overthink it. If kids are playing alone, there is no opportunity for them to form friendships. If they’re playing together, they do.
2. Talk About Friendship
It’s kind of incredible how little we talk about friendship in the church.
We talk about community, sure, but that kind of implies a general attitude we should have towards other believers – and even then we can be vague in what that means.
Use the language of friendship in your ministry. Talk about what it means to be faithful to one another. Talk about serving one another. Talk about praying for one another. Talk about confronting one another. Talk about forgiving one another.
In short, cast a vision for why friendship matters.
3. Pray for Their Friendships
You can do all the right things. You can plan games and toys and activities that encourage your kids towards friendship. You can talk all day long about what it means to be a friend and why friendship matters.
But you have no more powerful tool than prayer.
Ask the God of the universe to open up doors of friendship in your ministry. Ask Him to forge lifelong friendships. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance as you shepherd your children.
Friendship matters. I realize it’s probably not top of mind in your ministry priorities. But it should be – and it’s not really that hard. You have an amazing opportunity – don’t miss it!