I teach Sunday School. I’m also the Children’s Ministry Director and pastor’s wife, but I choose to work with children because I know that is part of my calling. God has given me a heart and a gift for ministering to, learning from, loving on, and hopefully teaching a thing or two to children.
It’s not easy. It is often frustrating. It is always worth it.
Our little church (we average a bit over 100 on a Sunday morning, total) is currently under renovation. I find this is the best way to think about some of the changes that are happening and need to be made at the church in order for us to keep growing, reaching our community, and living out the Kingdom Purpose that God has for Trinity United Methodist Church. Trinity has great people and does some wonderful ministries, like our food pantry, prayer shawl ministry, and some darn good preaching (I might be biased, but the hubs is good!). We are going to celebrate ten years as the new church in May and with all the focus on the future, we are re-visioning our purpose and goals. (Note: We have been blessed to be part of the church for almost two of the past ten.)
After a productive Vision Retreat a couple weekends ago, the church identified 4 top areas of focus. Children’s Ministry was one of the areas identified as vital to our growth and needing some improvement. I am thrilled! If you have ever worked with a children’s ministry or youth ministry you know that finding volunteers, building a program, and generating enthusiasm is not an easy task. In a small church with a large contingent in the 60+ range, the task grows more difficult. So focusing on how we can make our ministry to children and families better by getting more people excited and on board is awesome!
We had a children’s ministry meeting this past Tuesday and were able to identify some areas needing overhaul and made a rough plan for our Sunday School program. The meeting lasted two hours and we could have gone longer, but most of us had children to get home and in bed. So, we are meeting again this Tuesday and will be focusing on curriculum, planning, and a bit more dreaming long-term. We have a very dedicated and wonderful core of about 6-8 servant leaders for our ministry currently, working with our children which includes birth-6th grade, two Sunday school hours, music, large events, and hopefully Wednesday evenings again soon.
Needless to say, we have a lot of work, willing hearts and hands, and a long road ahead. I am confident that God will guide us as we seek to serve His children the best way possible and that He will provide the laborers along the way.
“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38
I’m excited about what God has in store for Trinity’s children and families and those He will bring through the doors. I’ll keep you updated as His plan unfolds. For now, I leave you with a glimpse of this Sunday and how much joy working with children can bring.
We have been talking and learning about prayer the past few weeks during our second Sunday school hour. As I prepared the lesson and reviewed it on Saturday evening, I felt certain that the kids would have fun and would hopefully share what they learned Sunday morning with their parents. With Valentine’s Day coming up I wanted to incorporate a scripture about the heart and prayer in our lesson. Jeremiah 29:13 was perfect and it was short enough to use as a memory verse! I thought a sweet little heart with the verse written on it to take home was just too great. The lesson included talking about seeking God with whole hearts vs. half hearts. We read scripture, answered questions, got rewards for answering questions, and seemed actively engaged. I had come across a fun little activity about having a robot (my co-teacher) make a peanut sandwich following the kids’ directions. It was hilarious as the children attempted to get our robot to correctly make the sandwich. The first attempt was quite humorous and I should have snapped a pic (the jar ended up under the bread with just a small smidgeon of pb spread on.) The whole point was that the kids had to correctly give ALL the directions, step-by-step, to our robot, thus hopefully reinforcing the lesson that we need to give our WHOLE hearts when seeking God. The kids were laughing, we finally had a successful PB sandwich to share (had to make a extra), and they once again seemed engaged and answered questions correctly about the correlation. So as we decorated the adorable hearts, re-read our Scripture memory verse, and reviewed the lesson, I felt confident that some of those seeds had taken root! I dared ask the question, “So, what did we learn about God today?” Without missing a beat one of our more boisterous boys piped in, “We learned how to teach robots to make sandwiches, with our hearts.”
Yes, yes we did!
The joy of children!
How is God working in your children’s ministry? I’d love to hear!