5 Values We Teach VOUS Kids
Before we launched Sunday services at VOUS, our pastors had laid out seven core values that would define the culture of our church. These values are the changeless core around which our culture revolves. Methods, technologies, and seasons come and go, but these things remain the same. For our leaders in the VOUS Kids space, we take the same approach to developing the next generation of our community. We want to teach them to build their lives around the deep truths of God’s word, but in a way they can understand from a young age. That’s why we developed our VOUS Kids values.
The VOUS Kids values are five simple truths that we believe will get our kids started on the path to living with intentionality and conviction. These values are a leadership tool we use to contextualize the feedback we give to our kids—and to their parents. When we coach kids on their behavior, we remind them of the values they learn about every Sunday. Each week, reviewing our VOUS Kids values is the first thing we do together. Throughout our time together, we constantly look for opportunities to teach and reinforce these truths.
1. LISTENING EARS — I will listen twice as much as I speak.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19
“God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” I’m guessing you heard some version of this quote when growing up. It’s one of the many clichés we hear at a young age that, as we get older, we realize are true. “Listening ears” is our way of driving home this truth for our VOUS Kids. This value sets our children up for a lifetime of meaningful conversations and deep relationships as they learn to listen to others.
2. KIND MOUTH — I will use kind words to honor others and speak life.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
After emphasizing the importance of listening, we encourage our kids to be intentional with how they use their words. If what we’re listening to matters, then the words we’re speaking are just as important. When it comes to our words, we teach our kids that kindness is key. The things we speak over others are powerful—they can either build people up or tear them down. We don’t use our words to hurt others; we use our words to honor them and speak life.
3. HELPING HANDS — I will use my hands for helping and sharing.
“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
Like the first two VOUS Kids values, our third value is associated with a part of the body. Our hands are significant because they represent our actions in a visible way. How do we use our hands? Hands can hurt or they can help. As followers of Jesus, we are called to use our hands to reach out to those in need, to be gentle and willing to help, to be generous and willing to share.
4. HUMBLE HEART — I will think of others before myself.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Our fourth VOUS Kids value is to have a humble heart. This value represents a key shift in the focus of the values. Listening to others, speaking words of life, and helping others are things we do. Having a humble heart brings the focus to our interior life. It’s not enough that we perform the right kinds of outward actions in our lives, it is essential that we are aware of the inner state of our hearts and open to the guidance and correction of the Holy Spirit.
5. POSITIVE ATTITUDE — I will always choose joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Our fifth and final VOUS Kids value is to have a positive attitude. More than just positivity, this value is about the joy that only Jesus can bring. We want our kids to know that the result of a life with Jesus isn’t always perfect circumstances, but that following Him will always lead us to a supernatural joy that lasts through the ups and downs of life. Even when we face challenges and difficulties, we can choose to live in the joy of the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit.