Recently, I had someone tell me how much they loved kids—and in the same breath said they didn’t really have the knowledge or skill they felt was needed to be a small group leader for kids in children’s ministry. OH MY GOODNESS!!! The “Orange” emerged from deep within me and I jumped him. (Orange Conference—children’s ministry, if you didn’t know) First of all, as soon as I heard “I love kids”—you’ve got me. In the whole scheme of things, that is really what matters most. Don’t you think?<
We learned as leaders how to be effective in sharing the love of Jesus through the events of the Bible. We learned how important it is to “do things well” when reaching kids. We learned that embracing this culture we live in by kicking up worship music a few thousand notches or so is where it’s at. To relate to kids, you’ve got to be on your game. Make it fun. Because kids are DIFFERENT than adults. We learned that telling kids that “because the bible says so” is not the way to get into kids’ hearts and to develop a lasting personal relationship with Jesus.
When it comes right down to it, it is all about RELATIONSHIPS. It really is. And if we are honest? That’s where it’s at for most of us too. After the pouring of information about being effective in children’s ministry, they sent us home with this. To realize it is not about your ability. It is about your availability. Being available for kids is really what they are asking for. In the church, school, community…if you are working with kids, YOU are the hands and feet of Jesus. They are learning who Jesus is through you. Not just by what you tell them about Jesus. But by how much you show you love and care for them. By how available you are to them.
In 20 years from now, I guarantee the kids are not going to remember how effective I was in telling a story or my ability and knowledge of the bible. I do know, they will remember love shown to them. I do know they will remember if I was available for them. Now, how hard does that sound for any of us? The good news is that…IT IS SO EASY!!!!
We are beginning to wrap up the school year, youth group meetings, and Sunday school. And now looking forward to Vacation Bible School, a new Sunday school series, and new classes beginning in the fall. I just want to encourage EVERYONE who loves kids to make that connection in one way or another. Maybe you have never been a small group leader before? Is God tugging at your heart? When you begin to see from the perspective of your AVAILABILITY versus your ability? It changes things. Be the hands of feet of Jesus to kids. Be available. And you will imprint the love of Jesus on their hearts forever.