Thursday, June 30, 2005

Work with Kids?

Ever so often, I am approached with the statement: "You should get more help so that you don't have to be stuck with the kids every Sunday morning." I've always had mixed emotions about that statement. I'm touched by their concern for my well being. I'm a little jumpy because I don't know of too many volunteers who will devote the next year to eternity serving in Children's Ministries. But most of all, I'm confused because I'm not quite sure how to respond. And then it just hit me yesterday: the statement begins from a false premise.
Let's review: "You should get more help." That is true. Someone has said that you don't have to be in a mega-church to have a mega-children's ministry. I agree with that. Being the Children's Ministries Director of a relatively small church has not stopped me from dreaming big. We do a lot of things designed to engage the children of this generation, with the ultimate goal of seeing boys and girls come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
But to do that, we need help. We need committed volunteers who love Jesus to help create an atmosphere of caring. Our Sunday morning program (called Sunday Morning Celebration) can have flashing lights and video presentations, but when all a kid needs is a hug or high-five, we need people. So yes...I should get more help. I will confess a weakness in the area of recruiting. I'm learning and doing better. Amen and amen!
Now to the second part: "so you don't have to be stuck with the kids every Sunday morning." Like a thunderclap, it hit me! I have asked folks how they would feel if they did the large group children's church every Sunday morning without a break. They would often shudder and say, "No way...I couldn't possibly work with kids all the time!" And here is my answer: "perhaps you can't...but I can!" I'm not stuck working with the kids...I'm honored to work with the kids. This isn't an interruption of my church is the ministry to which I am currently called.
The folks who often make the statement are interpreting children's ministries through their own expectations. They can't imagine spending every week ministering to children, so they assume that nobody could possibly want to do it. But I do. My pastor works hard all week. He spends his Sundays in the pulpit. He doesn't get to sit with his family in church. But nobody goes up to him and says, "You should get more help so you're not stuck preaching to the adults every week!" They expect it because he is the minister. And in a very real sense, that is what I am to the children...a minister. I am, in a sense, the only pastor they get to hear on a weekly basis at this time in their lives. It's a high and holy calling.

1 comment:

  1. I know that your post has been here a while but Amen, and Amen!
    I also have the honor of being called to Children's ministry. I have other functions in the church as well but if I could do only one ministry, and God let me choose I would teach Children's church! It is hard to find people interested in doing it.But it is nothing but Joy.