This weekend something happened that has been on my mind for a while. We had a new girl just begin in our kids programming (she was actually promoted out of our preschool ministry). While she already knows the kids and is even friends with the girls, it was still a little new for her.
We were playing the old game red light, green light as we talked about the importance of patience. The girl didn’t stand a chance of winning against the older and more competitive boys. So, I rigged it. I pulled the boys aside, casually and in small groups so it was not obvious what I was doing. I asked them to help me make the girl the winner. I expected a fuss from some of them. What I got was surprising. These boys had more fun “throwing the game” than they did actually playing the game. They would dramatically fall or run all the way across the line well after red light was called.
I have been thinking a lot about enabling kids to win. Sure, life is not fair. Sure, sometimes they will lose. Sure, the stronger and more talented ones are the most likely to excel in life (according to society. This is not a view I readily hold to). But church is a place that a kid church never leave from defeated. They should always leave feeling important and victorious. I NEVER want the message to be missed just because they did not win a game. I do not feel bad about structuring things in such a way that every child has the opportunity to win or at least FEEL like a winner. The same is true in their lives. I cannot be there to hold their hands every second, but I can give them the tools they need to succeed in life. I believe Jesus and His word are those tools.
I also learned something very valuable. These boys were just as excited about helping someone else as they were about winning. If we are teaching our kids the value of community, maybe as adults they will rally around those who are weaker, thus making all of us stronger. That is what church should look like. When they leave my kids’ service on Sunday, I want that sense of community to continue. Now, I have enabled them to win together, which is way more powerful than winning on their own.
These are just my thoughts. How have you enabled your kids to win, not only at church but during the course of the week?
Serving Him together,