Initiative’s Tasks: Adventure in the K-5 Classroom
Last month, our K-5 class explored what it means to see what needs to be done and do it. Instead of being a simple directive or just another way of telling each other about the things we “should do” or “need to do” in order be better kids, friends, followers of Jesus, etc., we talked about “initiative” as a response to what God is doing in us and around us.
Nehemiah is an Old Testament leader whose heart was broken when he heard that the city of his forefathers–Jerusalem–was still in disrepair. He wept, mourned, and talked to God about his grief. Out of that exchange with God, he responded to the burden on his heart. He traveled to Jerusalem, even though it was far away. He inspected the walls of the city and saw what needed to be done. Then, he rallied his people, and, in 52 days, they rebuilt the wall.
In our classroom, kids participated in the telling of this story. They joined their teachers in stacking boxes high, which symbolized Jerusalem’s wall. They pretended to be the builders and special characters that pop up through Nehemiah’s story. In small groups, kids discussed each week’s lesson and participated in hands-on activities.
Through it all, we hoped that kids would be able to take facts and information about the lesson, but, even more importantly, experience God through it. We also hoped that they would be able to ground what they learned in real life.
To help this, the Quest Kids Team put together a special response activity for our K-5 classroom. One week in our Nehemiah series, we talked about how Nehemiah recognized that though building the wall was important, so were the community’s material needs. They needed food! Our time and space may be far from ancient Jerusalem, but healthy nourishment is a need in our community too.
Through the end of October, the K-5 class will be taking an offering, which will go toward the backpack program at WARM, the Westerville Area Resource Ministry. On weekends, WARM sends backpacks full of healthy and tasty food home with kids in Westerville schools whose families struggle to keep the pantries full.
We collect this offering during our worship time, so kids connect the practice of giving with worship (because it is an act of worship!) When we do this, we also say a prayer for WARM and for the kids who will receive the food backpacks. I’m very excited about this, because all of it helps kids connect Nehemiah-like “initiative” with giving and the needs of our own community. It’s awesome!
I’d like to invite you to reflect with your child about what it means to see that something needs to be done, and do it! And if your child earns an allowance, a few dollars for helping with household chores, or has some change that they’ve been saving up, encourage them to participate in our special offering project!