The summer before last, the Lord asked me if I was willing to serve the small church I attended, in whatever ways needed. Was I really willing to give the Lord my all through this, no matter what it was or how much it cost?
“For the sake of the call, will you lay down your all?” were the words that came to me over and over.
“Yes! Yes I am willing! I’ll do whatever you ask me for the tiny church I love… just please don’t ask me to do children’s ministry! I’ll do anything except that! Please! I’m begging!”
So, I’m sure you can guess what happened. Both of the children’s ministry teachers stepped down at the same time and I had to decide if I was really going to put my money where my mouth was. “Ugh, you have got to be kidding me!”
However, over this past year I have learned so many lessons about children and my attitude towards them. I have 3 of my own, and 2 step kids, and all 5 range from 4-16 years old. So I am learning a lot about kids at home. But now I’m also learning a ton from the ones at church.
First; whatever we’re doing for the Lord is worship. When I first started having to teach, I was so annoyed that I had to miss out on the worship and message upstairs. I just wanted to be a part of what I thought was real worship. But then the Lord gave me a picture. He was sitting on his throne and I was worshipping him, alone. There was no one else joining me. It was just him and I. In that moment, all he saw was me. I had this strong impression that we are all accountable for our own worship. We give an account for what we do, not what the person beside us does. I think we all know that, but now I really knew.
Shortly after, I started to feel somewhat guilty. “Lord, I can’t worship if I’m downstairs with the kids. I’m missing out on being a part of the worship, therefore I can’t worship you the way I really want to.” But one day it hit me like a sack of bricks right in the face. Everything we do for the Lord is worship. Obedience is worship. Teaching the kids every Sunday, doing what the Lord asked me to do even though I don’t want to, is worship. And I needed to worship with my whole heart.
Second lesson; kids go through some really hard things and a lot of them don’t have anyone to talk to or answer their questions. Even in our small church, over half the kids in my class are from broken homes, including mine. And they’re hurting. Sure it’s good to teach them about Daniel and the lion’s den, but what they really want to know is, and I quote from one of them, ‘why doesn’t God answer my prayers? If he’s good, why do bad things happen?’
I’ve been reading a book about the world coming into a new era of God’s glory, and it’s amazing. One thing she talks about is trusting God with childlike faith and having that childlike awe and wonder of the Lord. Reading it put a fire in my soul. I want that childlike faith where I can take Jesus at his word and trust him completely. But I want our children to have that childlike faith too. I want that incredible sense of awe and wonder of our majestic, powerful, awesome King, and feel the love he has for even me! To be astonished and amazed with the things we see him do. And I want our kids to feel and see these things too!
The enemy is attacking our babies, breaking up homes and forcing kids to grow up faster than they should. Stress, depression, and anxiety in children are at an all-time high. It’s causing them to leave their childlike faith and wonder behind. Nothing seems to excite them anymore. Some kids are so used to disappointment, that there’s no point in being excited for anything. Apathetic attitudes are everywhere.
My 10 year old has been questioning everything for years. She hasn’t taken me at my word for a long time. I’ve never steered her wrong, but because other adults she loves and (used to) trust have, I sometimes fall under that too. I wish she would just trust me. I wish she would just be a kid and let me be the adult. I wish she would just take me at my word. I wish she would have some faith in me.
I think Jesus wishes the same for us. I think he wishes that we would just trust him. That we would take him at his word. How can I teach my children or the kids in my class to trust him if I don’t? How can I show them that only Jesus can mend our broken hearts if I haven’t let him mend mine?
I know now that I need to teach these kids. It is imperative. If I don’t teach them about all these things, who will? One of my favourite songs says “I see a generation rising up to take their place, with selfless faith…” I want to be a part of that. I want the rising generation in the church to take their place with strong unfaltering faith.
Psalm 90:16 (TPT) says “Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for.” This is my prayer for all children. May we all be astonished and amazed at his glory, wondrous works and awesome power. Let it be done! And please, Oh Lord, let me be part of it!