Monday, February 25, 2019

Make What You Do Matter This Week

I am approaching the big birthday of 60, yes 60 in two years. This amazes me, as it seems impossible to be nearly 60!

As I thought about this, I remembered back to when I began serving in Children's Ministry. My senior year in High School I was the Sunday School bus captain on one of our Sunday School buses. This meant each Saturday I went to every home of the children who rode our bus to see who we needed to pick up on Sunday morning. Many Saturdays we also visited new neighborhoods to invite new children to ride our bus.

Then on Sundays I was at church early, so we were able to go pick up the children - typically we had about 30 children ride our bus each Sunday. On the way to church we sang songs on our bus, and I always shared a Bible adventure on the bus as well. The same on the way home - more songs and another Bible adventure told on the bus. We had children put their trust in Jesus on those bumpy buses!

The last Sunday of my senior year I did not have a Bible adventure planned for on the way home - it was graduation Sunday and I was more focused on getting home and to school for the ceremony, but God put on my heart to tell the children a Bible adventure, so I did. I am not able to tell you what Bible adventure it was, but when I asked if any of the children wanted to put their trust in Jesus, Juan, a six year old who always was on our bus every Sunday, raised his hand and put his trust in Jesus!

The next day I went to a Christian camp in Southern Michigan where I was working for the Summer before going to college in Virginia. Two weeks later I received a letter from my mom. In the letter she told me Juan and one of his brothers had been playing with their dad's gun. It went off and Juan was killed.

Six year olds are not supposed to die. They are supposed to live and grow old, but we have no guarantees. Just because a child is at church one Sunday, it does not mean they will be there in two weeks. Certainly it is not common for children to no longer be at church because they died, but children often stop coming because they move, or their families break apart, or their parents stop going to church or because they think church is boring and do not want to go and the parents give up on fighting with them about going to church.

Lots of things happen with the end result of children who were once in our classes are no longer there. It matters what we do in our Children's Ministries. It matters. We have to do all we are able to do to keep our Children's Ministries focused on what matters - sharing the Gospel and helping children discover how they are able to believe in Jesus and grow to know and walk with Him. it matters.

While we can not keep children from no longer attending if it is due to a health issue, or family issue, we absolutely are able to make sure we engage children in learning. As I have been saying, God created children who learn by listening and children who learn by doing. One child is not good and the other bad - they both are good. We have to be intentional about engaging all the children - the ones who listen and learn and the ones who move and talk to learn.

We are able to be sure our Children's Ministry is NOT boring. We absolutely must NEVER lose a child because we failed to teach as Jesus wants us to teach and we failed to let children know Jesus is NOT boring.

So, all this to once again encourage you to do all you are able to do to engage children in learning they are able to believe, know and follow Jesus . . . this week. You have no guarantees they will be back next week.

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