Elf on the Shelf and Discipling Children


It is no secret among my friends that I am not a big fan of The Elf of the Shelf- the widely popular little guy who gets into mischief each night leading up to Christmas. It is interesting to see the different “adventures” that their elves get into, though I get tired of waking up each morning in December to a Facebook feed full of Elf on the Shelf pictures. Maybe I’m becoming grumpy since I’ve made the turn to my “late thirties.”

Seeing my FB Feed full of Elf pictures each morning makes me ponder a question: What if we discipled our children with as much enthusiasm and creativity as we put into the Elf on the Shelf? What if, instead of reading dryly from the Bible to our kids (or maybe not reading at all), we created grand schemes of adventure that paralleled the adventure of following Christ and become object lessons/parables about life with God? What if we created a culture of discipleship with our children where they were excited each morning to wake up and see how God would move in their life and in the lives of their friends?

When I see the time and creativity of those who participate in Elf on the Shelf (and a whole host of other endeavors), it makes me smile at the creativity that God has given each us. My hope as a Christian, parent, and pastor is that we might use that energy and creativity for more than some Christmas hijinks, but might use it to share the Good News about God’s love for each of us- especially to our children. That’s something worth getting excited for.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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