Investing in Children Matters

Invest The spring soccer and hockey schedules came out this weekend. It's always a puzzle to try to figure out how all the pieces are going to fit together to get everyone where they need to be. Sometimes it means splitting up our family for the weekend. Sometimes it means enlisting help from the grandparents or teammates. To complicate it all, my husband and I each lead a middle school small group in our student ministry on Sunday mornings. We try hard to make sure at least one of us is there to lead every Sunday.

That extra commitment on Sunday mornings makes our already busy schedules a whole lot tougher to coordinate. There are days when I wonder if that commitment is worth it. There are days when I wonder if we should even try to lead in middle school during this season of our lives. But then there are days like yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I watched two of the girls from my middle school small group get baptized, and I was reminded there's no greater reward than to invest in the life of a child, whether it's your own child or someone else's. There's no greater gift we can give to a child than to spend time with them and share the love of Jesus with them.

When we invest in kids, we make an investment for eternity. We can change the course of a life just because we care. My Sunday morning commitment means I spend an hour each week with these girls. It means I check in with them during the week. It means I pray for them. It means they know I care.

In the grand scheme of things it's not a huge time commitment, but it makes a huge difference. It means that those girls have someone other than their parents who are encouraging them and teaching them how to grow spiritually and emotionally. It means they have another safe adult to turn to when things are rough. It means they have someone other than their parents speaking God's word and wisdom into their lives.

No matter how difficult it is to squeeze that time into our schedules, it's all worth it. There is nothing I can do in a week that is more important than the time I invest in these girls. The angels rejoiced yesterday when those two girls were baptized. Shepherding these young ladies' hearts is a huge privilege and a weighty responsibility.

Today, I want to encourage you to invest in the kids around you. Whether you do it formally through helping in your church's children's or student ministry or you do it informally by investing in your kids' friends, make the time to be a mentor to a kid. Jesus said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as theseā€ (Matthew 19:14). When we choose to invest in kids, whether our own or someone else's, we help them come to Jesus. We help them understand the love and grace found only in the arms of Jesus.

No matter how busy your schedule, there's time to invest in the kids around you. Decide today how you can do that. You won't regret it, and you may change a life -- forever.