Saturday, January 4, 2020

Make 2020 the Year Where You Obey God

When you look at the children in your ministry, while you could certainly break this into more "categories", there are basically two types of children. One is the child who learns by listening, reading, writing - the other learns by moving, talking, doing. While we may think of the children in the first group as those who are "well-behaved" and the others as those who are not, this is looking at the children from a mistaken perspective. Yes, the first group are easier to work with and the second tend to take more of your time and attention, but God created all of these children and since He made some to learn by moving, talking and doing, it is wrong on our part to think of them as "difficult", "naughty", or "problem children". God does not make "difficult", "naughty", or "problem children". All of the children He creates are gifts from His hand and we need to see them all this way - whether they are easy to work with, or not.

It is likely the children who take more time and attention at church, also take more time and attention at school - and even at home. It is possible they have heard, more than once, when adults refer to them as "difficult", "naughty", or "problem children". This is absolutely not something which should ever happen at church. At church they should hear the truth - they are loved, valued, amazing and God knew what He was doing when He created them to be the boys/girls they are and He did NOT make any mistakes. God has amazing plans for their lives and these plans may require them to have extra energy, enthusiasm and pep!

We must see the children in our ministry - ALL the children - as God sees them - gifts from His hand. We also must keep the following truth in mind . . . if God created some of the children in our ministries to learn by moving, talking and doing, then He must expect us to teach them in ways which allow them to be engaged by moving, talking and doing. If the children are not engaged, they will likely become bored and a bored child is likely to find ways to "unbore" themselves . . . years ago when I was the Children's Director at my church in California, one Sunday in our second hour four year old's class the teacher had all the children sitting on the floor as she taught. She thought she had their attention, but at the edge of the group, two of the more active four-year-old boys noticed she did not see what they were doing. They were bored and thought it would be more interesting to climb the bookshelf . . . which they did, until it tipped over! No one was injured, but I never forgot this and it made a big point at how wise it is to engage the children in intentional ways, so they are not left to their own ideas of how to be engaged!

If we do not engage the children, some of them - the ones who learn by talking, moving and doing - are likely to be bored. While they may not go climbing during classtime, they are likely to decide God, the Bible, Jesus and church are boring - absolutely not the message we want them to learn at church. If they become convinced church is boring, they will not want to return. If they become convinced God, the Bible and Jesus are boring, they are not likely to want to follow and walk with Him. It is absolutely counterproductive and unwise for us to have a Children's Ministry which bores children and does not engage them - it has an extremely high price tag.

And, keep in mind, if God created children to learn by being engaged, if we do not teach them as He created them to learn, then we are the ones who are "naughty" as we are not obeying what God has decided - and He is the One who gets to decide.

So, if you have a ministry where children are engaged, keep doing what you are doing! If not, tell yourself the truth and get to work making 2020 the year where you see all the children as does God and the year where you obey God and teach the children by engaging them.

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