By CTA-Christ to All
Believe it or not, school will be here before you know it. For some, that is an exciting reality. For others, the thought of school brings nervousness, anxiety, and even fear (both real and imagined). As a ministry team that works with children in different stages and circumstances, you can use this opportunity to help your students turn to Jesus and replace their fears with faith.
Whether or not you work in conjunction with a school, you can help all the children in the families you serve start the school year strong by pointing them to God and his Word. Here are some ideas:
10 Ways to Help Children Overcome Fear with Faith
Start with Prayer: Before you even begin planning, pray. Pray especially for children who are battling fear and anxiety over the coming of school. Invite people in your congregation to pray for students and families as school gets closer. You might even match those who are willing to pray with specific students and their families as prayer partners for the year.
Plan a “Welcome Back to School” Night: Before school starts, invite families to come and meet the teachers, explore the school, and get an idea of what the new school year will be like for their child(ren).
- Point them to Jesus: Include a devotion and prayer at your open house. Pray with families or children who may be experiencing an unusual amount of fear. Give them Bible verses that will encourage them and shift their focus from fear to faith. Send them home with a backpack or a backpack tag to help remind them each day of God’s promises and presence.
Hide it in their hearts: Children have a tremendous capacity to memorize. Having God’s Word at the ready for stressful or fearful situations can help. Take one or two of those verses that address fear and anxiety and put simple actions or a rhythmic beat to them. Then go over them a few times so the children (and parents) can begin memorizing them. Also, send them home with a list of short verses that they can work on together. Examples include: “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10 NLT); “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3 NLT); “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. . . . I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).
Connect them with other families: Choose mentor families to welcome new families and help them get acclimated. Include a social time where parents can meet and talk to other parents and where children can meet and play with other children.
- Make it fun:
- Have a Bible verse race where students or families can look up those verses that address fear and anxiety and the One who can provide faith instead of fear.
- Create a Scavenger Hunt to help new families become more familiar with your facilities and location of important rooms.
- Create a BINGO card with spaces full of things families might have done over the summer. Have them try to get BINGO by finding other people in the classroom or school that can initial off each space.
Provide a Question-and-Answer Time: Give lots of opportunities for people to ask questions verbally or in writing (not everyone is comfortable asking a question in a big group or knowing the right person to ask).
Family Prayer: Encourage parents and children to talk and pray together about their fears. Give them ideas and suggestions about how to pray together. Send them home with prayer journals and devotionals for parents and faith-based activity books for kids.
Do Home Visits: Encourage teachers to visit families ahead of time to get to know them and help ease the transition.
- If your ministry serves families from more than one school, consider having a Back-to-School Rally. Make it a night of fun and fellowship. Use whatever ideas above work in your situation.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2023 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.