I have given myself a challenge for the next 26 days – post the complete A-Z of Ministry to Children.
E… Education, entertainment, Eric, eternal, effervescant…
E is for Encouragement – (I recently wrote a post at the official Hillsong Blog ‘Collected’ about this topic – have a read, but I want to talk about it here as it relates to kids).
I firmly believe that one word of encouragement to a child can literally set in motion the call of God on their life. I still remember the words both positive and negative that we spoken to me as a child about what I was capable of. You as a leader occupy an important place in the mind of a child, you’re not as present as a parent but you are around enough to have a big influence on the kids you minister to, in short, you can be a hero or a zero. Take the opportunity to speak words of life over their future every chance you get.
Research written about in the book NurtureShock has shown that some forms of praise can actually hold children back. Avoid praising children about their natural talent and giftings. eg. “You’re so brainy”, rather praise and encourage their efforts and hard work.
Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control,” she explains. “They come to see themselves as in control of their success. (Location 376 Kindle Edition)
There is a lot more to be said on this topic, but try it this weekend in your services at Church – watch how many times you encourage kids about innate ability rather than the attempt they have made.