Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Josiah, grandma and the Quaker Oats Man!

Yesterday on grandma's cookie jar, I shared the story of my two year old grandson Josiah, myself and the Quaker Oats Man . . . "Another time when Josiah was over here he saw a box of quaker oats on my table, pointed at the quaker oats man and said, "grandma!" I said, "Hey! Wait a minute you funny boy! That's an old man! That isn't grandma!" He smiled, pointed at the quaker oats man again and said, "Lynda!" Apparently he has a sense of humor!!!!" 

Okay, yes, this is funny . . . although I really do not look anything at all like the Quaker Oats man! But, how often in our ministries do we look at someone and think we "have all the pieces" and decide they are someone . . . when they really are not? Sadly, I think this happens all too often and when it does someone usually ends up hurt and our ministry is less effective. So, what do we do when we have misjudged someone? Do we say, "Oh, that happened in the past." and then go on to leave it there - without ever going back to the person we misjudged and apologizing? Do we ever go back to others who were influenced by our inaccurate perceptions and make sure they understand the other person was misjudged? Again, sadly, far, far too often we do not do these things.

How can misjudging others and not making it right when we realize we have misjudged others cause our children's ministry to be less effective? Consider the following possibilities 

  • it can hinder our ministry as God wants us to reconcile first - Matthew 5:23, 24 - Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."
  • it can make it difficult for others to trust you
  • it can make it impossible for you to teach children - or anyone - how to treat others the way God wants us to
I'm sure there could be additional ways for our ministry to be harmed when we misjudge others and do not make it right to the person we misjudged and to any others who may have been influenced by our misjudging, but it is clear there is a high price paid. Too high a price. Effective children's ministry matters too much to be hindered by anything. Spend time today asking God to show you if there is someone you have misjudged and then, "First go and be reconciled to them; and then come and offer your gift."

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