Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bullying and Children’s Ministry

With the news of children taking their lives because of being
bullied, I want to talk about how we in Children’s Ministry can take a
stand against bullying. If these children had been my children,
grandchildren or a part of my church, my heart would be broken.
So many children are bullied – some are physically bullied, some are
verbally bullied and some are bullied in more subtle ways, but it is all
bullying. We need to consistently communicate to the children in our
ministries ALL types of bullying are ALWAYS unacceptable. Not only
do we need to teach against bullying, but we need to equip our
children, so they are able to stand against bullying, stand up for
children who are being bullied and take a stand as a person who has
made the choice to do as Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40 - Jesus said,
"'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and
intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But
there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love
yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law
and the Prophets hangs from them." (the Message)
Jesus went on to share the parable of the Good Samaritan. A man was
just minding his own business when he was attacked, robbed and left
for dead. Some people saw the man and pretended they didn’t, but
the Good Samaritan acted on what he saw. He stepped up, offered
help, encouragement and care. We need to help our kids understand
when they see someone being bullied, they need to be like the Good
Samaritan and step up, offer their help, encouragement and care.
Point them to Ephesians 4:26-32 – Be angry and do not sin; do
not let the sun go down on your anger, Let no corrupting talk come
out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits
the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Be kind to
one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ
forgave you.”
Children know it is NEVER okay to physically harm another person.
Challenge them to do as Paul says in Ephesians . . .
  • If someone makes them feel angry, do not sin in their anger
  • Do not use words which tear others down, but instead choose to
use words which build others up
  • Always choose to give grace to others
  • Be kind to others, tenderhearted and forgiving
Challenge children to make the choice to love others as they love
themselves. Give them ways to respond when they feel angry and like
lashing out. Help them commit to be people who do not ever bully
others and who step up, offer help, encouragement and care to others.
And, be sure to let children know they can talk to you if they are
being bullied.

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