What does God expect from us when it comes to the children? I recently picked up a book by Chris Ritter, “Seven Things John Wesley Expected Us to Do for Kids.” I am preparing and looking forward to a preaching series on this topic coming up in June.
For this article, allow me the gift to take a trip down memory lane. I recall the ministry of a Christian preschool that lovingly reached out to this young mom, as she herded her two little boys nervously into the classroom. I remember the teachers that took the time to ask me how I was doing as a parent, and even prayed for me from time to time. I remember the Sunday school teachers that patiently embraced our youngest son, during his fearful days, and handled his crying for weeks in an unfamiliar setting. It took time; we all survived and were better for it. I remember my first church assignment as a new pastor with two school age boys; the two congregations on the charge only had two or three other children. They were delighted to have our sons, and they told me- their new 30-something pastor, that I was their ‘youth ministry.’ They trained me up well as a new pastor. I remember one occasion when Brian thought I was bringing home the boy after church, and I thought he was bringing the boy home after church… and the church stayed with our little boy, and made sure he was safe and loved until they could get a hold of one of us parents to come and get him! (A couple of hours later…Oh my!)
I remember the Easter Egg Hunts, and Vacation Bible Schools… something I never experienced as a child. One of the congregations told me they were ‘too old’ to have a children’s ministry; and they could never put on a VBS. Lo and behold, together we made plans for a one day VBS; it worked well and was a great blessing for that congregation.
I remember coming to Ramsey, and the earnest praying for the children to come… and they came! God is faithful! I remember our first ‘bilingual’ VBS, and our nervousness over how we would minister in two languages. I remember the look on Fernando’s face, and on Pastora Norma’s face when the children came; and I recall the many times these wonderful servant leaders have gone to ‘get the children.’ I remember the children lining up with the men of the church to receive their very own bible and the men of the church’s blessing. I remember when a child preached the sermon at Ramsey one Sunday! What does God expect from us, when it comes to the children? Faith, hope and love… but the greatest of these is Love. Thank you to all who minister to the children!
A child at heart-