There’s always that one kid in every class. You know the one.
The one kid that never listens,
The one kid who is always disrespectful.
The one kid who can’t sit still.
The one kid who loves to make an outburst.
These kids are tough ones to love, or if we’re honest, they're tough to like.
But, we all need a safe place to belong … even a kid who’s body language and attitude speak a different story.
These kids are walking through our doors with stories. Mostly good ones, but some have stories and backgrounds that would make your hair stand on end. It’s our job as leaders to make sure everyone has a place to belong.
And while, there are many “classroom techniques” that can be used to help control a disruptive child, none works best than love. We need small group leaders who are going to look past the behavior and into the promise this child holds.
Isn’t that what Christ does for us? He looks past our sin and baggage and sees the beauty within us.
We are called to love the unlovable - that means the lego-throwing, paint spilling, yelling biter in our small group. Especially that one.
Love them through our words.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Words matter, and words sting. I can still remember many of the hurtful things said to me by an adult “correcting” me. Choose to speak life into a child. You can correct without condemning.
Love them through our body language.
Our words can say one thing, but our body language can betray us at that moment. Believe me, kids know. Saying gracious words with a scowl will leave a child unconvinced. Count to three, and put your whole heart it.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Love them through their parents.
Be careful of the words you chose to say to a child’s parents. No child wants to sit by as their small group leader lists all their transgressions from the morning. Does that mean we say nothing? Absolutely not, but make sure your motives are pure. When we partner with parents, we are committing to looking at every child like he is made in the image of God and he is welcome in our small group and our church. Don’t create a barrier between the church and a family.
How do you love the unlovable in your small group?