Kids Korner: Building relationships

This issue of Kid’s Korner is from Jeffrey Broadnax who pastors GCI congregations in Ohio and serves as National Coordinator for GCI Generations Ministries.

My nine-year-old daughter Kassidy and I recently shared a road trip to North Carolina where I conducted a wedding. I had purchased a DVD player so Kassidy could pass the time in the car watching videos. To my surprise, she brought along my set of Schoolhouse Rock! videos. If you’re not familiar with Schoolhouse Rock!, you’re likely younger than 40.

As I was growing up, kids all over America would sit in front of their televisions on Saturday morning watching cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, and the Justice League of America. In commercial breaks, instead of ads for Palmolive soap or Oscar Meyer wieners, ABC would show an educational cartoon from the Schoolhouse Rock! series.

Jeffrey and Kassidy Broadnax (picture used with permission from Ariel Kuhn Photograpy)

Schoolhouse Rock! segments covered topics like science, multiplication tables, parts of speech, American history, politics and even religion. Using a cartoon format, each featured a catchy song. “I’m just a Bill” and “Conjunction Junction” were two of my favorites.

What was so special about this particular road trip was that it gave Kassidy and me extended and uninterrupted time for conversation, singing, and for me to share with her stories from my childhood, including the impact Schoolhouse Rock! had on my life and education growing up.

(public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Our road trip brought to mind an important insight related to ministering to children. The time spent together is precious—it provides opportunity to build relationships with children by sharing something about our life, leading quite naturally to sharing our faith story—the difference Jesus has made in our life. If we are intentional, we can have life-changing conversations with children (and people of all ages) within our relational networks—family, church and the places where we live, work and play.

Let me challenge you to spend time today or this week paying attention to the children in your networks. Look for opportunities to start conversations in which you share an important part of your own story—perhaps including an aspect of your relationship with God when you were growing up. Then tell them you’ll be thanking God in prayer for what he used them to do in your life.

My prayer for you is that these conversations open doors of communication that will foster intergenerational relationship-building, thus setting an example for others to do likewise with younger and older people. Though it doesn’t take a road trip, doing so will grant you an experience to remember.

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