About 4 months ago my sister, Karen asked me if I might write a guest Blog for her sometime. At that time she was looking for ideas for a teacher’s devotional book. I have been out of the teaching loop too long. But I wanted to give my sister a little break and throw some thoughts out for us to ponder. I am not one who has read the latest Christian Ministry books or curriculum but I do have ideas based on my experiences with children, teaching and the word of God.
Let us leave the classroom for now. As people who are called to Children’s Ministry whether paid staff or volunteer, we see the needs of children, wanting them to come to salvation and a growing wisdom and knowledge of God. We also need to see children as a part of the church. If we don’t see them this way neither will they. Seeing children as a segment of the church body with various levels of maturity and spiritual growth will help us as we interact with them. In a small church family this should be easy to manage. A very simple, practical thing that happens every Sunday at our church is the Pastor’s granddaughters collect the used communion cups from everyone. The Pastor says, “Pass your cups to the center isle and our little Usherettes will pick them up.” Those girls feel a sense of belonging
Drawing on the home schooling experience I had with my own children, I used teachable moments. Once we were at the variety store in the summer time and I was helping my son do a price comparison. The clerk said, “Oh, give him a break it’s summertime.” I thought, no it’s life, 24/7. Helping the church family understand and practice teachable moments may or may not be a hurdle in your community of believers. I have the idea that we need to live life together no matter what the age level. We need to be building strong relationships that will last. We need to go through good times and bad together. We need to work out our difficulties and not give up on each other or run away if we get our feelings hurt. In general our lives have become too busy and compartmentalized. We are running here or there and not really getting to know one another. We need to spend time and space together. We need to practice hospitality.
On Sunday our Pastor challenged us with this statement: You have a love for the truth, but do you have a love for one another? It is easy to leave the church when you don’t really have a bond with anyone. My intent was to help us look at interacting with children on a personal level outside the classroom and help them in belonging to the household of faith. We can certainly do this. But children, and people of all levels, will be observing us in our interactions. We are modeling the Christian life. Yes, we are human and make mistakes. What is more humbling than having to say we are sorry and making amends to those we have wronged? The church community needs to practice this. Children of all levels will be taking in what they observe. Love God. Love one another. Love children and they will grow up to love God and love one another.
Judith Coran is a graduate of Intermountain Bible College and has worked in various ministries in the church as a volunteer.