The Postcard Challenge

Last Sunday I gave every small group leader at our all-team huddle a simple challenge as part of our focus on Commitment. In January, we’d be teaching our kids the importance of making a plan and putting into practice.

I asked each of them to take a couple minutes at the end of the service that day, and get into the practice of writing a postcard to one kid in their small group. Just one.

Not three.

Not all of them.

Just one.

Our church staff has known for some time that the average family attends church once every 4 – 6 weeks.

That may seem like a shock to all of you who attend regularly, but it also sheds some light on how building and leading a small group culture in church can be difficult. For various reasons, families are just not coming back.

One simple way I think leaders and teachers can combat this is by simply letting parents know how much we enjoyed having their kid with us (or how much we’ve missed them).

I want to stress that no one can force you to do this.

I believe that as soon as something like this becomes legalistic, it loses it’s power and authenticity.

So please don’t do it for your pastor or boss.

Do it for the kid who didn’t speak.

Do it for the kid who spoke too much.

Do it for the kid who needs to be reminded of the truth of who they really are in Christ that week.

So once all their kids leave, I challenged each small group leader to ask the Spirit to bring to mind the face of  ONE kid who stood out to them that day. Or one kid who wasn’t there.

They could write three sentences, even.

One thing that makes that kid special? One hope the leader has for them that week?

Josh Shipp says, “What if a kid’s most annoying trait is really his biggest talent in disguise?”

Your words will go further than you know.


After church that Sunday, I walked back to my office with FIFTY postcards!

Fifty kids whose faces lit up that week when their parent’s told them they had mail.
Fifty kids whose week was made because a another caring adult showed up randomly in the middle of the mundane.
Do you remember getting mail as a kid? It was everything.

I’m so incredibly thankful for my team for taking the postcard challenge to heart. Thankful they allowed Jesus to use them in unimaginable ways this week.Leaders, as your simple words are written down, remember that each of you are part of a greater story, a Life-size postcard, that God is writing to raise up the next generation of Christ-followers.

That’s a huge deal.

Because sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can make the biggest difference.

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