Teaching Responsibility to Young Congregants: 4 Activities

Teaching Responsibility to Young Congregants: 4 Activities January 15, 2024

How do you teach responsibility in a church setting? Firstly, know that it’s not engrained but requires training and repetition. You’ll need to incorporate activities into your program to teach responsibility to young congregants.

Church Classroom Roles

This tried and true strategy combines several activities you can implement within the church’s kid center. Spearhead a project with the teachers and volunteers to teach children responsibility by assigning roles and getting them to volunteer for one every Sunday.

You could call them “heroes,” “helpers”, “shining stars”or a cool name that appeals to little ones. In each age division, you can have five to six volunteers who take on roles such as:

  • Handing out Bibles
  • Walking around with offering baskets or handing out communion elements
  • Class monitors or assistants who encourage other kids to behave, or older kids who watch over younger ones during combined moments like worship, communion or prayer
  • Kids who help sign other children in and out before and after the service

Serving others encourages responsibility and builds confidence through nurturing humility and generosity. Both of these traits will help them grow into confident adults. You can also encourage all young congregants to take responsibility by cleaning up after themselves when the service has ended. Encourage them to put toys away or pack chairs if kept in one room over the week.

When assigning roles, use responsible language that highlights the desired action. For example, if kids leave toys or craft stationery scattered around and are in a rush to leave, volunteers can give them the toys and ask them to put away and using firm but kind language to say “It’s everyone’s responsibility to clean up after the service” or “We always clean up after ourselves”. Inclusive words like “our” remind them it’s a shared responsibility.

Tending a Garden

Gardening is a fun way to teach responsibility. Children love getting their hands dirty and trying new sensory experiences. Plus, gardening is a low-impact exercise with health benefits like getting kids the sunshine and fresh air they need.

In addition to teaching them how to sow seeds and care for growing plants through watering and pruning, you can also educate them about the best plants to grow by season like dahlias in summer or butterfly weeds in winter. It’s the ultimate learning experience.

A garden project is also a chance to model unconditional love. As all beginners do, they might make mistakes and forget instructions, resulting in a few dead plants or the need to start again. This might stir up the urge to point fingers, but you can use this to teach responsibility by working it out as a team. 

Review the rules and instructions again, or have a problem-solving session to encourage safety, kindness and compassion among each other and the plants.

Event Planning

Planning events teaches teamwork and accountability. Kids learn to communicate well with each other and adults, and discover the feeling of contributing to a bigger cause. Put younger congregants in charge of a fundraising event or one church service yearly.

They can plan a bake sale or learn the roles necessary to run a service with the help of their Sunday school teachers. It might take longer to get everything in order, but let them do the planning as much as possible. Adults are there to offer guidance and help them with challenges that require an experienced view. 

If planning a whole event is too much at once, start with smaller responsibilities. Try action items like asking the media team to make a poster, sell tickets or hand out invites for people to contribute their recipes to the bake sale. When they run the service, they can collect offering baskets, lead worship through dance or welcome people to church before the service.

After the event, praise them for their effort and the experience. Be specific, thanking them for how well they worked together or for their consistency in practicing their roles. When you focus on the process, you encourage a growth mindset, which builds resilience and confidence, and encourages curiosity. They’re more likely to keep being involved, embrace challenges and seek out responsibility as they grow.

Child on hill reading book

Teaching Responsibility Well

Educating takes time, patience, practice and unconditional love. The more opportunities you provide for kids to be responsible, the more they learn and grow. 

When they become adults, they are more likely to become responsible church members with good attitudes regarding serving. As Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Browse Our Archives