On CM Connect I saw a question posted by a man named David - he said he was being given the opportunity in an upcoming service to speak on behalf of the children's ministry. He asked fellow kidmins to "inspire" him. This got me to thinking about what inspired me to be involved in childrens' ministry in the first place and what inspires me to continue to do so.
More than 30 years ago when I was in high school I was involved in my church's bus ministry. My senior year in high school I was the captain of one of our bus routes - my senior year I also worked as a teacher's aide in a 1st grade class. One of the boys from my class rode my bus with his five brothers - they never missed a Sunday! His name was Juan. When he smiled his eyes twinkled! On our bus I told Bible stories on the way to church and on the way home. We sang songs, learned verses and had fun contests! The Sunday School Bus was "THE" place to be! The last Sunday of my senior year I was thinking about graduation later in the afternoon and wasn't going to tell a Bible story on the way home, but God really laid it on my heart to do so. After the story Juan prayed and asked Jesus into his heart!
The next day I went to work in a camp in Southern Michigan for the summer before going to college in Virginia. Two weeks later I received a letter from my mom. She told me Juan and one of his brothers were playing with their dad's gun. It was loaded. It went off and Juan died. He was only seven years old. Seven year olds aren't supposed to die. They are supposed to live a lot of years and get old. Supposed to, but do not always do so.
Children's ministry matters because we do not know if we have a "Juan" in our ministry this Sunday who will not be there in two weeks. Children do die. They move away. Their parent's work schedules change so they may not be at church again. They may lose their ride and not be able to come to church. You have no guarantee the children you have in your church this Sunday, will be back again in two weeks, two months or two years. It matters TODAY what you do in your children's ministry.
In the ensuing 30 year's I've raised my own two children and I can assure you it mattered very much to me what the children's ministries were like where my children went to church. Now I'm a grandma . . . I love being a grandma! It matters very much to me what the children's ministry is like where my grandsons go to church.
Today I'm inspired and motivated by remembering Juan, my children and my grandsons and by knowing the children in my church and community and in yours, are loved by Jesus even more than I could ever love them! Children's ministry matters. We need to have vision, passion and a plan so our ministries reach children TODAY!
What inspires you?