Tuesday, March 8

Making Lent Meaningful for Kids: Part 1

For me the season of Lent is like spring, full of potential.
Rich in nutrients and budding hope.
It’s a good time to grow through preparation and practice.

I love the way Joshua explains this idea, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."  ~ Joshua 3:5

And I love the way Isaiah gives meaning to consecrating ourselves not with sackcloth and ashes alone, but through practicing the way of love.

"Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear." 
~Isaiah 58:5-8

I’m excited to share such a rich season of growth and love with our kids. 
Hoping our ideas will help your family too!

How to make our kiddos the recipients and co-conspirators
 of our Lenten practices:


Carve out time to make your kids your only priority. 

Our adult worlds often marginalize kids, and Lent can be the perfect time to practice love for our kids.

Start by making a list of things you’d like to do together and set time aside on the calendar for each activity. 

Hike a new natural trail and explore together.
Go to the zoo and let them lead the way.
Play their favorite game. Repeatedly if necessary. 
Have a pj party with ice cream AND popcorn IN a tent. 
Start a new art project together.

Tips for success: Really try to listen to them, ask them questions, be close, share their excitement and your own stories of when you were little like them.

All of this will say, “I’m here and you are the only important thing right now.”


Make a list of people you all think might need an extra blessing. Then decide how you could bless each person. It’s a good idea to set aside time on the calendar for each act of kindness so you don’t end up with just good intentions. And it can help you decide if you’re over committing, too.

Consider helping others through local shelters and ministries. I know our local shelter is always in need of hygiene items, underwear, and socks. Kids can help by collecting their own alms all Lent and by helping you purchase and deliver the donations. 

If you’re here in KC with us, let me share two of my favorite locals:

Operation Break Through: Providing early childhood education, dental and health services, meals, clothing, housing, and emergency aid. They do so much to enrich and stabilize the lives of families in need. Check them out at https://www.operationbreakthrough.org

Hillcrest Transitional Housing: Their ministry moves families from homelessness to self-sufficiency within 90 days by addressing the total life situation of the homeless families they serve. Visit them at http://www.hillcresttransitionalhousing.org


  1. i don't know anything about lent or holy week either, so please keep sharing!! :)

  2. nicely done, Chris! will you be at Ash Wednesday service tonight? last time Haven went, she was too little to understand, so hopefully tonight will be a good learning experience for her!