The need for love is the greatest of all human needs. Children who don't receive love cannot fulfill their God-given potential for a fulfilling, contributing life. While staff at church spends relatively brief amounts of time with children, our effect on boys and girls must not be minimized. Even small tokens of love can have a lasting impact.  Here are simple ways to show children you love them.

1. Learn their names.

2. Be a patient listener.
Children's narratives can sometimes be tedious, filled with long pauses, repeated words, and more details than anyone really cares to hear. However, really LISTENING to a child says, "I care. I'm interested in you." To show you are listening, it helps to interject a question or comment in the narrative. For example, "That must have been a lot of fun," or "How did you feel when your brother did that?"

3. Make eye contact.
Making brief eye contact with a child communicates that you are listening and attentive.
4. Welcome children warmly.

5. Notice things about your children. 
Has Joshua lost a tooth? Let him tell about it. Is Jacob sporting new shoes? Admire the special features he points out. This attentiveness tells children they are important to you.

6. Praise good work, good behavior, and good effort.
Some children hear mostly negatives at home, such as: "You never . . . ." or " You always . . . ." Help balance these with honest praise of the good things you notice such as: "You're really improving in raising your hand before you talk."

7. Say good things about a child to his or her parents, in the child's hearing.

8. Pray daily for the children that they will accept Jesus as Savior, grow as Jesus did, make wise decisions, respect authority and choose right friends.