Lessons From A 4th Grade Classroom
Every other Wednesday night I have the opportunity to teach fourth-grade girls, including my daughter, in a class called MIT (Missionaries In Training). Our church is great at providing various teaching tools and activities in our children’s ministry, giving multiple opportunities for boys and girls to have hands-on experience and learning about serving others.
This past Wednesday night, was a great example of this. In our classroom, there were several tables set up, stacked high of canned foods and plastic bags.
As the girls walked in that night, they said with excitement, “Is this food for us?” Or, “Yay, it all looks so delicious, is this for me?” To which I responded, "wait and see," because it’s something even better.
Over the next few minutes, I talked to them about how there is a local school, that some of them attend, where children will go home on the weekends not knowing if they will have meals to eat until they come back to school on Monday. And so their task was to take all of the food they see in front of them and put it into bags to give to kids who need this food.
Over the next 25 minutes these girls, with high energy and sincere joy, made 95 bags to be handed out to their peers.
After it was all done, we unpacked their experience. This time when talking about the food, they said things like, “It was so much fun to know that we were helping our school friends," and “Every job was important in the assembly line, even my job of opening the bags,” and “I felt like I was able to help in a big way”! They were excited, happy and overall seemed to have a feeling of gratitude for what God had blessed them with.
I was grateful to share this experience with them. For one, teaching our children about service and giving is an ongoing process. But it's an important reminder for me, too. Oftentimes we walk into a space and think, just like these children did, "it’s for me" when really all along it would be better to give away to those who are needier than we are.
Can you think of a time when you felt like these kiddos did at first, but realized how much better it was to give and serve than to receive?