“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget.”-
In 2009 I had a conversation with the Lord that I’ll never forget. It was on a Thursday night after a college worship service where I was asking Him what it would look like for me to commit to serving in full time ministry. For the first time this daunting thought of working as a pastor seemed genuinely exhilarating. Serving people became a passion of mine and using my gifts to help lead people grow closer to Christ is what fueled me.
Fast forward to graduation I was presented with a summer internship that would allow for me to serve in various ministries throughout a Church located in Texas. God is so good, I had no idea where this would lead or what exactly I would be shown but within the first two weeks I was exposed to serving in Children’s ministry where I could unleash every goofy trait about me and show off every incredible trick I know with YoYos. That summer changed my life as most of you know that this internship turned into a full time job overseeing a Children’s Ministry. With hardly any experience I went from beating every 3rd grader at Gaga ball (if you don’t know what Gaga Ball is then stop what you’re doing and immediately YouTube, this blog can definitely wait) to being approached with the topic of “hey we should have you in charge!” and having over one hundred children to care for on a weekly basis. I came out of Bible College with so much knowledge and eagerness ready to teach these kids about the love of Jesus but the truth is, these kids taught me more wisdom and life lessons that I could never learn in a classroom. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, cats and squirrels, I present to you the top three best lessons Children taught me about life, God, and how to get out of trouble just by being cute over the years.
1. Kids Have Faith
There’s a reason why Jesus states in Matthew 18:2 that we must “become as little children” in order to enter the kingdom of God. To kids it’s not just daily reading the Bible, it’s the opportunity to be brought in the story of God and live life with Him. There’s no room for having anxiety, kids know who’s in control. Children know how to rest and lay in the arms of the father and I forget this too easily as I grow older.
2. Kids Stay Humble
If only I too would fall on my knees before Jesus instead of trying to tackle all of life's challenges on my own. Pride is a dangerous weapon I use when I try to convince myself that I can handle everything life is throwing at me by myself. Children can be so great at asking for help and relying on others to navigate through life. They understand that they have to rely on others in order to survive and in the same way all of us do, not just kids. By opening your heart to humility you open the door to be fully seen, fully heard and allow for necessary walls to come down in your life.
3. Kids are Dreamers
Whatever happened to thinking out of the box? to having huge unrealistic dreams? Children never ask these questions because dreaming big is just what they do. I will never forget the time I taught a lesson on prayer and afterwards had a child tell me he prayed for Superbowl tickets and then won a pair of tickets a week later. How does that even make sense? The truth is that it was never about the prayer or the fact those tickets were won, it was that the kid understood who to talk to first about their desires and dreams before anyone else. Somewhere along our journey we settle with thinking that God can’t surely handle our dreams and desires and the truth is God has bigger dreams and plans for us than we can even imagine. We were created in this world to glorify Him and trust me when I tell you that He has some amazing creative ways in which He has for us to do this! We cannot out-dream God’s good plans for us. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). It’s the perfect time to be in the season of childlike wonder and come to God open handed with our talents, desires and dreams.
I have notes chock-full of hilarious stories and quotes from my kids throughout the years I was able to serve in Children’s Ministry that would be way too long for me to blog about. From the time I threw a fake snake into the audience making them think it was real and explaining to parents why this was a good idea to the time I let a kid have my microphone to talk about his memory verse but instead ran away yelling that he farted on stage, I thank God for all of it. Thankful for introducing me to ministry with the people in our church we should have the most compassion for. I thank my kids for always teaching me how to live life in such a simple way helping me understand how much I complicate because I forget the little lessons. We simply have to trust more, walk in a humble manner and continue to give God everything we hope for as He weaves our lives together for an amazingly written story.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5