Hindering the Kids

It comes back like a boomerang, or the incessant buzzing of a mosquito in my ear. Over these months of adjusting to my new role, getting to know people, and observing ministries, I've forgotten to count how many times those in leadership have mentioned how difficult it is to get workers.

Last night was no exception. I sat with the gal in charge of children's ministries and heard the dreaded words: "we need more workers" once more. Actually it was more than once since much of what should be happening with the kids' program can't happen because there are not workers to help make it happen.

If you ask, reasons as multiple. Some refuse to jump through all the legal hoops now required of people who work with children and youth. Others don't want to miss the church service during the month they are on duty with the kids. Some have health or family issues. Many say they don't have the "gift." A few claim "prior commitments" which take then away from church frequently. Then there are those who just don't care.

It's not for me to judge how valid these reasons are. The bottom line for me is a need within the body that isn't being met and discovering how I can facilitate the meeting of that need. One thing I did was to add my name to the sign-up sheet to help out especially over the summer. I'm thinking of ways to promote Sunday School and be a bit of a gnat in the ear of any pew-warmers who really don't have a valid reason to not participate. The need is something I will add to the prayer cell's list for Tuesday nights—only God can remove barriers not of his making.

I wonder if anyone has noticed how far reaching are the words of Jesus when he said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" —Luke 18:16, NIV. The disciples tried to shoo the kids and their parents away from Jesus, actions that earned a sharp rebuke from the Lord. While we might not actively chase kids away from contact with Jesus, passivity can be just as lethal. We can keep kids out of the kingdom simply by not being there for them, in support of the program that reaches them. By our absence we can also limit the possibilities of the Sunday School to do more outreach and to handle the larger group of children that come as a result of that outreach. Hindering the kids from knowing Jesus by ignoring their spiritual needs through our neglect would constitute an offense against God and against them—a circumstance condemned by the Lord with these harsh words: "It would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea" —Matthew 18:6, NIV.

Do I sound harsh? These are not my words, but his. But I think about myself. If I don't have time for some level of involvement with the kids, I don't have much concern for the future of the church. More importantly, I don't have much concern for the kingdom and even less for Jesus' instructions to his disciples.

Somehow I don't think Jesus is very pleased.

Comments

  1. Once again, you are right on target. When we see how our children are being lead astray out in society, children's ministry is one of the greatest opportunities we have to combat the works of satan.

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  2. Sooo true, Lynda. And I was JUST thinking about this yesterday (on the "bad" side, to my shame). As soon as my new church gives me the OK, I'm gonna get back to helping with the youth. Bless you.

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