Kids. Wow. Those are some amazing little creatures. One of my greatest joys on Saturday evenings, and Sunday mornings is to watch those little faces light up when the doors to Discovery Kids are pushed open. As I wander the halls during service, I get the privilege of looking into classrooms and observing what is going on. While the Chaos room (2nd-4th grade), may have the reputation of having the most substantial curriculum and hearty teachings, there is not one classroom that comes in second place.
If I have learned anything from working in children’s ministry, it is that every single room, child, and volunteer are extremely special and vital to our program. Just a few weeks ago, I was in the one year old room, when a precious little boy had a cup of Goldfish that he decided to share with every single child. He walked around, with a giant grin on his face, passing out a single Goldfish to each kid. While that may seem minute, it made me take a step back and realize why we do what we do every week. While this little one year old may not be reciting Bible verses yet, he is learning to love and care for others, just as Jesus did, and nothing could be more fulfilling to me.
On another note, there is so much more to learn from working in children’s ministry. For instance, you have to learn to expect the unexpected moments. There will be countless loose cannons throughout your volunteering- and I don’t just mean the children. You will not always be able to control how the class with shape up, who will attend, or how the students will respond. You can always aim high by preparing well, but the end result is always up to God. As the old saying goes, the farmer sows his seed and waters his plants, and then he leaves the rest to God. That’s pretty much how working with kids goes.
One thing to look forward to, and keep an open mind to, is that YOU can always learn something from THEM. We come into this thinking that we are the teachers- and we are- but there has not been a single week that I have not taken something away from working with these kids. From sharing, or being nice to someone who may not seem like they deserve it- keep your eyes, and heart open- kids have a way of teaching you things that you never knew.
So, I have come to the conclusion that children’s ministry is not second-rate ministry. We are bringing up the next generation, in hopes that they will be strong, caring, compassionate, Jesus-loving people. We get trusted with God’s precious children each weekend, and I think that is pretty special! Whether it is the third grader that we get to walk beside in making a decision to follow Jesus, or the 7-month-old baby that we just get to hold and love on for an hour, it is all valued and wonderful in the eyes of God.