17 Reasons to Serve

Influencing and Inspiring the Next Generation

17 Reasons to Serve

Kathryn Egly

When I was young, the youth ministry and those serving in it changed the trajectory of my life, and I am thrilled to “pay it forward” by serving the next generation! I strongly believe that we need to come alongside our children and teenagers – teaching them, encouraging them and loving them!

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”


Here are 17 reasons to serve in children’s or student ministry:

     1. When we serve children, we serve Christ himself!

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me!” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).

We are a family. Just like each person in our household has chores and responsibilities, each member of the church family should look around and say, “What needs to be done?” And then do it! Every person chips in and helps!

     2. We live in an interconnected world; serving children makes a positive impact on our world.

Scott Galloway in his book, The Algebra of Happiness, said, “The fastest blueline path to a better world isn’t economic growth … but more of us becoming irrationally passionate about the wellbeing of a child who isn’t our own.”

17 Reasons to Serve

“None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others” (Philippians 2:4 NIRV).

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

    3. Serving takes the focus off of your problems.

Serving others takes the focus off you and your problems and allows you time to focus on others. You’ll find that when you are encouraging others, you, yourself will be encouraged.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bonus: You will learn that our GREAT GOD is bigger than all of our problems!


“I will often be able to serve another simply as an act of love and righteousness … but I may also serve another to train myself away from arrogance, possessiveness, envy, resentment or covetousness.” – Dallas Willard

     4. You will make an impact on your own children.

The Barna group recently released a statistic that shows your children are 80% more likely to continue in their faith if their parents were serving in the ministry.

Your children are watching you and learning what you value.

17 Reasons to Serve

     5. God has lavished GOOD on you so that you can lavish good on others!

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 3:1 NIV).

     6. Serving children will have the greatest, LONG TERM impact!

Children are just beginning to develop life-long beliefs, habits and values – and we can help shape them!

What gets “poured into” children will be what comes out of them as adults.


When children grasp that God loves them and has a good plan for their lives, their lives take on more meaning, purpose and joy!

     7. Young people are highly influenced by role models, but many don’t have one.

You can be that role model!

17 Reasons to Serve

“We are all role models to someone in this world, and we can all have an impact – for good!” – Tony Dungy

     8. Spiritual development begins at age two and is usually formed by before age 13.

If people do not embrace Jesus as their Savior before the end of their teenage years, their chance of doing so later in life is slim. Children are the group of people who are the most receptive to the Gospel and the most receptive to discipleship.

     9. Our current young ones are our future leaders.

The people who are leading our country today were once young people who may or may not have had wise and caring people investing in them.

“Christians have a tremendous opportunity to help build a better, more God-honoring world by investing in the moral and spiritual character of future leaders.” – George Barna

     10. Being ‘in the action’ is way better than sitting on the sidelines.

17 Reasons to Serve

     11. You will learn, grow and develop skills you didn’t even know you had.

Every time I serve, I learn things that apply to my life – and I can talk these things through with my children. We reflect on the lessons together throughout the week.

“A critical component of someone growing in their faith is serving.” – Dale Hudson

Leading others forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow in areas where I would have become stagnant. We get to develop gifts we may not even realize we have! We get to be used by God in ways we never imagined!

We can learn from children. Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25 NIV).

     12. It’s Fun!

We play games to learn! If you need a reason to smile, work with kids. They give you lots of reasons to smile. Their joy is contagious. Seeing the world through their eyes is simply delightful!

     13. You will meet new friends! 

Loneliness is an unfortunate problem in our generation. We text more than we talk and connect with people on social media more than we do in person. Serving changes all that. While serving, you will get to know others, build relationships, laugh together, learn together and grow together. Most of my closest friends are people I’ve met while serving.

17 Reasons to Serve

     14. Serving gives us an opportunity to put our faith into action.

Serving helps us grow in our faith. Scripture tells us that “Faith without deeds is useless” (James 2:20 NIV).

“I see Christ in others, and they can see Him in me.” – Michelle Anthony

     15. Working with children and teens has the potential to change the trajectory of one’s life.

I’m forever grateful to the men and women who served in the church when I was young. I felt loved, welcomed and most importantly – I learned that God loves me and has a good plan for my life! I learned that God is my Father and I could trust him. It changed my life. (Read my story by clicking here)

We get to team up with God to change the world!


“If children learn to love God with their whole heart, mind, strength and soul – then larger problems, as they grow, will be bypassed. Strong, healthy children will grow into adults that positively impact our society.” – George Barna

     16. Children need a THIRD voice.

Though the primary people responsible for spiritual development are parents, children and students need a third (and fourth and fifth) voice speaking truth into their lives! I can name specific third, fourth and fifth voices that impacted me. Can you think of those people as well?

I’m so grateful for the people who spoke to me with truth and love when I was going through the “My Parents Don’t Know Anything” stage! I’m honored to have the opportunity to be that voice in the lives of our future leaders. You can be that voice too!

17 Reasons to Serve

     17. Serving is good for your health!

In the book entitled “The Healing Power of Doing Good,” author Allan Luks discovered that retired men who volunteer one day a week live two and a half times longer than retired men who don’t volunteer at all.

In the book, Happiness Hypothesis, the author shares this profound study: “A longitudinal study that tracked volunteering and well-being over many years in thousands of people was able to show that when a person increased volunteer work, all measures of happiness and well-being increased afterwards, for as long as the volunteer work was part of the person’s life.”

Serving is like joining a gym! (Keep that New Year’s Resolution!) We never need to feel guilty asking people to serve our children and students. It’s not what we want from them, it’s what we want for them!

When I invite others to serve, I am giving them a gift – a gift they give and a gift they keep. Why am I so confident in this?

  • Because of how it positively changed my life. People served and invested in me, and I will never be the same. Their service will ripple through eternity!
  • Because of the joy and satisfaction I’ve experienced volunteering in children’s and student ministry.
  • Because I’ve been thanked by countless volunteers for providing them a place to grow, serve and find fulfillment
  • Because of how it has positively impacted my four sons who attend children’s ministry!

Thank you to those of you who invest in our children and teenagers! I appreciate you.

Kathryn Egly

Kathryn Egly is a wife, mom, and author. Residing in the beautiful state of Minnesota, she is a part-time teacher, and full-time referee to her four busy boys. When she’s not mediating epic battles over the last cookie, you can find her fueling up on her two secret weapons: coffee and Jesus. Kathryn’s faith, love for others, and her unwavering commitment to her family inspire her writing. With a touch of humor and a whole lot of heart, she shares her experiences through the written word, aiming to connect, uplift, and remind us all that we’re not alone in this wild ride called life.