12 Jul 2012

Children’s Ministry Needs You!

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Blog |  Rachael Standaert

I remember all of my Sunday school teachers. I remember how they cared for me and were committed to me. I remember everything that they taught me– the good and the bad.

When I was in junior high I remember hearing the story of Enoch, the man who ‘walked with God and then was not’ (Genesis 5:24). I remember the story being about how holy and pure Enoch was. I asked my youth pastor if he believed anyone could be holy enough to just be ‘taken by God’ these days. His answer was ‘probably not in this society’. I spent the next year trying to be as holy as Enoch. I wanted to prove my pastor wrong and to go down in history as the girl who ‘walked with God and then was not’.

I failed (obviously) and I missed the whole point of that story– that only God is sovereign and truly Good in His sovereignty. He is good and infinite and His character is what makes Him worthy of worship. Enoch was not the point—the good God who rescued him was the point.

Children are so impressionable. Duh. Especially when they are taught the same things over and over again for 15 years. So if they are taught that the story of Noah’s Ark is about Noah’s obedience, or that the story of David and Bathsheba is about guilt and being found out, or that the story of Esther is about courage… it is easier to grow up believing that the story of Jesus is just about selflessness and love. They grow up to be teenagers who may not understand that the point of the Bible is not good behavior but Jesus– that the Bible is not made up of short stories about moralism and heroes but is one big story about how we will never be morally upright and that there is only One Hero.

Despite the good intentions of my Sunday school teachers I grew up to be someone who knew all of the stories inside and out but never really understood the point of them. So even though I was raised in the church and AWANA, and even though I went to a private high school… it wasn’t until I was about 16 that God sovereignly placed some new teachers in my life and His holy spirit worked to reveal to me that the stories in the Bible are all tied together purposefully to tell us what our hearts long to hear—that we can look to a God who promised to save all of the characters in the Bible, and then kept and fulfilled that promise through Jesus Christ.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my story…  but I also believe He has given us clear instructions in how to train children to love Him and to honor Him, and that begins with training them to know His character. I love serving in the children’s ministry at The Resolved Church because we have a curriculum that is intentionally designed to point out the deep truths of God’s nature and hint at the Gospel in all of the stories we go through. It is also coordinated so that each week the kids are learning from the same sermon we are! It’s a brilliant way to teach the children, and to remind ourselves of how the Bible isn’t about us– it’s about Jesus.

That was a truth I desperately needed– I only wish someone had explained it to me earlier! I pray that the children in our church come to a saving knowledge of God’s glory early on because they understand the Gospel early on. I serve so that I might get a chance to see that prayer answered.

But serving in children’s ministry also offers a great opportunity to take part in upholding one end of the membership covenant. When people are covenanted into the church– we, as members– promise to help love and serve the other members of the church as well as their children:

*To all other members of the church:
Do you covenant to help these new members of our church to love Jesus, do you promise to care for them, and serve them and their children as long as Jesus has them in our church? If so, say, “We do.” *

So my question, church members, is how are you taking part in upholding an important aspect of the covenant oath you took? We’re all gifted so differently and are given so many different passions… but no matter what they are it’s mandated that we use them to serve the church! (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:6-8)

It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the children’s ministry (of course), but if you’re uncertain or curious about where you fit, the children’s ministry is an excellent place to start. Whether you’re good with kids or not, the ability to communicate the Gospel and to love the not so lovable (in this case sometimes grumpy kids) is a good thing to learn and practice!

And, if you can relate to growing up in a moralistic church community like I did, then the opportunity to provide a Gospel centered community for these young ones will probably be a refreshing experience.

So, serve the church, and find your place within God’s sovereign plan to glorify Himself by saving many people through it. Start with the kids if you have no better idea (or if that’s your best idea!). We could use your help.

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