It’s finally here….summer!!! Last week of school for the kids and they are all so excited! I remember the happiness I felt as a child as summer approached. No more school for a couple of months. Summer was filled with church camp, cheerleading camps, basketball camps, beach trips, weeks spent at my grandparents house in Tennessee, swimming, and just some fun outdoor play time at home. Good summer memories.
Yesterday at Kidz Church we had our End of School lesson. I wanted to focus on the kids and their dreams and fears. In the beginning in their small groups, we had kids create their own summer bucket list. They listed things they wanted to do this summer (whether it was a reality or not). Just a little fun activity to get started.
During our Large Group worship time, we had kids share what their dream was in life; what they wanted to be when they grow up. It was cool to hear the different things they aspire to be: archeaologist, teacher, scientist, rock star, military, architect, etc. Each child that shared had this sparkle in their eye and excitement in their voice as they shared these dreams. Then I asked them to share their fears about doing these things in life. I was amazed as I listened to them share these fears. Their looks changed and you could tell they doubted their abilities to do these things.
I then shared with them Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” There is no need to fear, children, because God is with you! Whatever you dream and hope for, believe in the abilities that God has given you and always pray and ask God to help you do what He wants you to do.
Our next activity was to place our fears in “God’s Bucket”. Each class had piece of butcher paper with a drawing of a bucket. I asked them to fill God’s Bucket with their fears and to ask God to help them do something they might be afraid to do. Again, I was amazed at the fears that these children wrote down: help me not to quit, help me to listen and obey, help me to follow my dreams, help me do the right things, help someone find the Japanese girls and bring them home safely, keep my brother safe in the army, help find the lost plane, help me not to fight with my siblings, etc. So many things they wrote down where they were asking God for help. They were giving their fears over to God and asking God to help them.
As they were doing this activity, I noticed a boy standing off from his class. He said he didn’t want to do this activity. He didn’t need God’s help with anything. He could do everything by himself. As a Children’s Minister, my heart just broke. How could a child who has been coming to church almost every Sunday for the past school year, feel like he doesn’t need God? The questions just started flooding my mind that maybe it was my fault: What have I done wrong in my teaching? Have I not shown God’s love enough to this child? What have I not done to reach out to this child? All I could tell him was that yes, you need God. God created you, God has given you so many gifts to use, God loves you with all his heart, Jesus died for you on the cross so that you could one day live in heaven with him. You need God. We all need God. We can’t do anything WITHOUT God. So now, my prayers are filled with cries of help for this young boy. I want him to realize that yes, he needs God. I want him to seek God in everything he does. I want him to pray to God every day. I want him to love God with all his heart. I will be praying for God to change his heart and for him to realize his need for God.
All of this reminded me that as a Children’s Minister, my work is NEVER finished. There are so many children in this world that do not know God and don’t know the sacrifice that Jesus made for them. God has placed me here to serve him at Dahlonega UMC and also to serve the children of Lumpkin County. My work is not over and never will be. I must continue to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to every child. Thank you God for calling me to teach and show love to your children here in GA. I must Press On…