Monday, May 16, 2016

Grateful or Greedy; Are We Grateful?

For the past couple days I've been asking if our ministries are grateful or greedy. Yesterday I looked at some signals we can watch for which might indicate our ministries are "greedy", so today I want to focus on how we can tell if our ministries are "grateful".

While I'm sure all of us want to at least think our ministry show we are "grateful", if we do not ask questions and keep our eyes open, we may indeed discover our ministries are not as "grateful" as we want them to be. So, what might we see if our Children's Ministry is "grateful"? Consider the following . . . 
  • As I said yesterday, in the article I linked to, it said children are not "expensive"; greed is expensive and went on to say children do not have to have the newest and best and most expensive things . . . in our Children's Ministries do we tend to use and reuse resources which are effective, work just as well and allow us to continue reaching children and families?
  • Do we avoid getting caught up in the trap of having to use the curriculum and resources the "big" and "in" churches use if they really are not a good fit for us?
  • Do we offer events and opportunities for children and families because they are genuinely helping children know and walk with Jesus rather than because it is what the "in" churches do?
  • Is our goal focused on helping children know and walk with Jesus and so we measure all we do by this goal, not by being "cool", "in" or so we can look like a church which "has it all together"?
  • Do we spend time regularly thanking God for the blessings He has given us?
  • Do we avoid complaining about not having the budget we want?
  • Do we hear volunteers expressing their thanks?
  • Do we hear children talking about how they are thankful?
  • Does our ministry have a "spirit" of gratefulness which others can see, hear and feel?
So, other than the obvious reason - being grateful most certainly pleases God, why does it matter if we are are focused on having ministries which show "gratefulness"? I think one of the biggest reasons go back to the questions I asked a couple weeks ago as being genuinely grateful will help us to keep our focus and in so doing we will not cheapen our faith. Being genuinely grateful helps keep us from being distracted by the "new", "current cool thing" and the "popular" and in so doing we are able to focus on helping the children and families in our ministries learn to know and walk with Jesus.

We do not need big budgets and the newest and coolest curriculum/resources. We need God's Word and we need to be people who actually know and walk with Jesus and are willing to share the joy which comes from doing so with children, so they can do the same. We must be people who have grateful hearts and who freely and happily show their gratefulness; after all, don't we have so very much to be grateful for?

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