I’ll never forget what the head of the Children’s Ministry program of the church I go to told me and several volunteers in a training session many years ago. (The church is Christ’s Commission Fellowship or CCF for short.)
She told of the very familiar scene, mentioned at least three times in the Bible, where Jesus was speaking to a crowd, and there were parents in the audience who wanted to bring their kids to meet Jesus so that He could bless them. But the disciples, who I guess were concerned that doing so would waste their Master’s valuable time, stopped them in their tracks. Here’s the story, as told in Mark 10: 13-16.
13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them.
14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
15 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.
The trainer’s challenge was this: if we don’t pay attention to our Children’s Ministry; if we don’t give our absolute best effort for these kids week in and week out; then aren’t we doing the exact same thing that the disciples were doing? We’re hindering the children from being blessed by Christ!
Wow. I never thought of it that way. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t look forward to my stint as a Sunday school teacher, and I’m sure there were others who feel the same way. But man, if my rotten attitude made me a hindrance that kept these young souls from being blessed by Christ, then shame on me.
What made this even bigger was that when the disciples got in the way of the children, Jesus was indignant. Do you know what that means? Encarta’s definition is: “angry at the apparent unfairness of something.” So if your church doesn’t pay much attention to its children’s ministry, or worse, doesn’t have a children’s ministry at all…we are making Him indignant. I love Christ too much to knowingly disappoint him so greatly.
If bringing children to our Lord was so important for Him then; then we, as His hands and feet, should consider it equally as important now.
Well, I now, even if I have to miss our powerful Sunday messages for a month, look forward to my turn with the kids. CCF’s bench of volunteers has grown so huge that my group and I only have to do this once a year (Yay! Oh, I mean, awwww!), but we still get involved during special times of the year…and this is one of those times.
I was placed to be in charge of the 6-8 y.o. class’ Christmas presentation. This is the youngest class I’ve ever held, and boy did I get a culture shock. I usually handle the 10-12 class, and they’re very behaved and mature. But these guys…wow, I was putting more effort in quieting them down than instructing. But I’m very excited for our presentation. I’ve been staying up late getting it ready…and I think, Lord be praised, it’s going to be grrrreat!
I can’t give details on what I’m cooking up (people will kill me if I give spoilers), but I’m so excited that I can’t help but give you one song I’m using for one half of the presentation. It’s Strange Way to Save the World, a beautiful song by Jump5. I heard it first from my eldest daughter because she has their CD, but I’m sure you hear it on the Christian radio at this time of the year (103.3FM). Below is a vid from youtube featuring the song with its beautiful lyrics.
For the rest of the presentation, I am hoping to use my goofy sense of humor and the cuteness of these kids to make something really special. I can’t give more details than that…you’ll just have to see it for yourself.
Actually, this month is gonna be awesome, because during each Sunday service, there would be at least two groups who would give special numbers. We want to show how fun it is in our church and how great it is to be part of such a vibrant Christian community. Here is the sched of presentations:
December 12: singles (always a hit); kids 9-12 (Lynn and Mesoo, my 2 eldest kids, will perform)
December 19: adult d-groups (yes, my mom will perform); kids 6-8 (this is the one I’m working on)
December 26: young couples (including my group); kids 3-5 (Happy, my youngest, is in this one, with my wife teaching the song/dance).
If you’d like to come watch the performances and to get to know our culture a little bit, we’d be happy to welcome you to CCF. The church is located at Papa Juanito’s Square, just across the street from Robinson’s car park entrance. The performances would be on the 10AM services.
I’d now like to show you some of the presentations done in the past. Enjoy.
A mime presentation of “We Are The Reason,” Christmas Party 2008. Lynn was in this one…somewhere.
Sunday School 3-5 class song, “Be Brave, Be Strong,” Mother’s Day (?) 2009. Happy is the little guy in Maroon.
Sunday School 8-9 and 10-12 classes singing “He Knows My Name.” Father’s Day 2010 or 2009. Lynn and Mesoo are both here.
Practice of the kids who volunteered to play the flute for Mother’s Day 2010. Lessons were free. All three of my kids were participants.
I’m looking forward to adding Christmas 2010 to this list of memories and ministry. If you’d like to visit, see you then. :)