Friday, October 08, 2010

Qualifications for a Children's Ministry Worker: What Does It Take To Be A Teacher?

Did you know that . . . .

A duck's quack doesn't echo?

Butterflies taste with their feet?

In ten minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined?

On average, 100 people choke to death on ball-point pens every year?

On average, people fear spiders more than they do death?

Ninety percent of all New York City cabbies are recently arrived immigrants?

Elephants are the only animals that don't jump?

Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older?

A snail can sleep for three years?

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks one inch every year because, when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of the books that would occupy the building?

And finally,

The electric chair was invented by a dentist?

How many of these did you know? Not many? Oh my! Maybe you shouldn't be a teacher of children if you didn't know some of these important facts.

I'm being highly facetious. Yet so many people, when approached about teaching in children's ministry, make the excuse that they don't know enough. The above quiz should prove that we will never know everything. It isn't how much we know that is important in teaching; it's how much we are willing to learn alongside our students.

As part of my degree program for my first college degree in Home Economics Extension Education, I served a six-week internship in a Cooperative Extension Service Office. One of my jobs was to answer phone questions about food, nutrition, and other home issues. One day, I put the phone on mute, panicked that I didn't know the answer. My supervisor told me these important words: "You don't have to know all the answers; you just have to know where to find the answers."

Yes, you may see others around you who know more than you, who have more experience with children, who seem more gifted in teaching. Yet ability and experience are not the only qualifications in becoming a children's ministry worker; in fact, those job qualifications are far down on God's list. God cares not so much about our ability but about our availability. He looks at the inner heart (1 Samuel 16:7.) He looks at our passion and our relationship with Jesus.

After all, Peter was an uneducated fisherman, yet Jesus chose him to become a key leader in the church.

Teach what you know and be willing to learn what you don't know. Remember, the Holy Spirit is there to be your guide and give you the words you need. Just like God told Moses, "Now therefore go and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say (Exodus 4:12)."

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