As I've worked Inside The Classroom in children's ministry, there have been certain children who have tried my patience to the point of wanting to quit. Rebellious, uncooperative, inattentive, disruptive, violent, insecure, underachieving. I admit, I've wanted to take them by the shoulders and shake the bad behavior out of them, saying, "What's wrong with you? Snap out of it!"
Then I hear tales of their home life and the hard core of resentment melts like paraffin on a warm summer day. No wonder they act like they do! Ornery troublemakers move on to become rebellious teenagers who then turn into angry, dysfunctional adults who bequeath their dysfunction to the next generation. Can the cycle ever be broken? Can we turn around kids who are neglected, abused orphans through the choice of their parents?
Yes we can! I had the privilege to interview three separate faith based children's homes who told me countless stories of turnaround. Not only have a large majority of children in these homes found faith in Christ; they've moved on to become productive members of society, raising solid and secure families of their own.
This week, check out my article, "Rescuing Children At Risk" in the Christian Standard to find out more on how these work with the government to rescue the neediest members of society and how your church can reach out as well.
In the meantime, don't give up on those most difficult children. We are called as children's ministry workers to proclaim the gospel to the lost and hurting. These are the very children we are supposed to reach with the gospel message. The children who always behave, who always have the right answers, who are the first to volunteer - they remind me of what Jesus said in Matthew 9:12: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." The emotionally hurting child desperately needs the message of hope you have to share.
This week, choose a disruptive child in your class. Pray for strength and wisdom. Then determine to love that child to Jesus. When you do, that child will discover there is another way to live.