Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What Inspired You to Become Involved in Children's Ministry? What Inspires You to Continue in Children's Ministry?

Many churches, this time of year, look at the Summer and pretty much, "roll up their sidewalks" in regards to their Children's Ministry. At a time when they could go all out to engage children who are not in school and who are often times looking for something to do, many churches do not even offer Sunday school.

It isn't because they do not care, but most often because they have a very difficult time getting the volunteers they need. So, during a time which can be discouraging to those who serve in the Children's Ministry, I have two questions for you. What inspired you to be involved in Children's' Ministry and what inspires you to continue to do so.

For me, more than 40 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 First grade class in our local elementary school. One of the boys from my class also 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 adventures 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 adventure on the way home, but God really laid it on my heart to do so. After the adventure, 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 years 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 absolutely matters very much to me what the Children's Ministry is like where my grandsons go to church.

Today, while MS keeps me from being involved as I once was in Children's Ministry, I'm inspired and motivated to pass on what I have learned over the decades 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?

Oh, and if you are having a hard time finding volunteers, try sharing what inspires you with people in your church. Invite faithful volunteers to share what inspires them - maybe make a video or print a folder which you include in a bulletin. Sometimes, if people in your church are able to see what inspires you and the volunteers, their hearts will be touched and they will get involved, too!

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