Thanks to Dale Hudson from Relevant Children’s Ministry for this re-posted article.
How can you impact a child’s life? How can you be a difference maker for a child who is struggling?
If I ask you to make a list, you might write down things like prayer, quality time, teaching the Bible, influencing the child’s parents, making sure the child is in church on a regular basis, making sure they have good friends, etc.
All of these things are true and can make a difference, but you might also be overlooking a very simple thing that can change a child’s life forever.
A recent study from the University of Texas, Columbia University and Stanford University looked at what causes kids to disengage from school and have discipline problems. The study found that when kids feel like their teacher doesn’t believe in them and doesn’t treat them fairly, it leads to them getting in trouble and makes it much less likely that they will enroll in college.
But there was another very interesting part of the findings. It found that there is one gesture of trust and respect that can go a long way to keeping kids engaged. In the study, teachers gave 25% of the students a hand-written note that said they believed in them. Something amazing happened. The students who received a note had fewer discipline problems and were much more likely to go on to college than the kids who did not receive a note.
I believe this reinforces the fact that, if a child receives a note that speaks words of life and trust into his or her life, the impact can be life-changing.
Tucked away, in a special place, I have notes of encouragement that I have received from family and friends over the years. Why do I hang onto them? Because they significantly impacted my life. And I’m sure you have some notes like that tucked away as well. We hang onto things of value, don’t we?
And so think about this with me. What if…
You wrote a note to your child each week and left it in a place they would find it? A note that told them how much you love them and how proud you are of them.
The small group leaders in your ministry wrote at least one note a week to a child and shared how important they are and that God has big plans for them?
When a child missed a weekend, you sent him or her a handwritten note that shared how much you missed seeing them at church and how special they are?
You sent the children in your ministry a handwritten birthday card that shared how loved they are and that you believe in them?
There is one simple thing you can do now that will change a child’s life forever. And it’s as simple as taking a few minutes, grabbing a pen and paper and using your written words to speak life, hope, courage and empowerment into a child’s spirit.