As I sit and think about the next children’s sermon or the volunteers that still need to be enlisted for the upcoming children’s event, I reflect on my time in seminary and wonder where I was when they talked about these things. Maybe I ran to the bathroom (I am known to do that with the amount of water I drink) or maybe I was off day-dreaming, but I do not think I could have missed so many of these things.
For instance, what do you do when the children’s sermon you have planned gets interrupted by children who love to talk? You want them to feel important and to share, but allowing them to answer by putting their thumbs up or down for an answer will only work for so many Sundays a year. Sometimes you just have to give in and trust that God has a plan and that they did learn something from the few words you were able to share that morning.
On the other hand, why do they call it children’s ministry? I think a more appropriate term might be ministry to those that work and live with children. I spend the majority of my time talking to adults: adults who teach and give their time to share God’s love and parents who are trying to guide their children in their faith. The time I spend with children is so little. My time is spent helping equip others to build faith foundations. As I consider this I am reminded that my impact is so much more than the life of that one child, but it is multiplied by the investment into a teacher’s life that gets to share with several children each week.
Oh and when I think I have it figured out, God teaches me another lesson that I missed as I talk with a child around the dinner table and learn how sick they got after they ate three sticks of butter when they were younger just because they loved butter. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Kristen Muse is minister with children at Hayes Barton Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina.