Have you ever sat with a child and watched their eyes light up when they “get it”? Whether it is mastering a math problem, spelling list, or Bible story, it is a joy to see the change in a child that moment the light bulb clicks on and a child understands. They sit a little taller and often ask for more.
Over the last 3 months, I have been blessed to serve the children who come through those purple doors, eager to learn a new story and a practical application of what it means in their lives today, and into the future. I love hearing their questions as they come to understand, their responses to the questions raised, and to hear their prayers. Children are not afraid to ask questions, to offer their thoughts on a Bible story, or to pray for one another.
“Can we pray for my puppy that is chewing up my socks?”
“Wait a minute….you mean that Jesus is also God?” (Then you throw into the discussion the concept of the Holy Spirit and their little heads are spinning.)
“Why would God be so mean to destroy all of the earth with a flood?”
“There is no way Abraham and Sarah can have a baby, she is too old.” Second child responds “God can make anything happen.”
Children are always listening to what is on the radio and television, they hear our conversations and watch our actions. Children ask questions about the world around them as they try to process and understand life at their level. When a child enters the church, (and once they get past the donuts) they are listening and watching the ways that we interact with one another. They are attentive to the ways that we welcome them and watch how we invite them to deepen their relationship with Christ while participating in worship or a Sunday school class.
The fidgety child sitting in front of you in church may seem as a distraction, but that child is learning how to stand and sing praise to God, and is learning that prayer is important to the whole body. They are learning that there is message from God that is read through the Bible and spoken by the pastor’s sermon. The little girl that comes in with her own wardrobe or hair design and kicking off her shoes as soon as she enters wants to know she is perfect just the way she is. The child who is drawing all over the bulletin and sitting upside down in their seat, is engaging in the message at their level and understanding more than you realize.
Jesus said in Matthew 19.14 – “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children.”
As fall approaches and the children return to school, be in prayer that their hearts and minds are firmly rooted in Christ and that they feel God’s love every day. Secondly, consider how you may impact our children by joining in one of their ministries. Jumpstart is our Sunday school program offered at 9:30 and at 11:00 with a different lesson. If Sunday’s do not fit your schedule, consider Wednesday afternoons for our new after school program from 2:30-5:00 or Merge from 6:00-8:00pm. All lessons are planned and materials provided, these children are just waiting for some fresh leaders to guide their hearts. I would love to talk with you more. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Karen Brantley, Children’s Coordinator