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Struggling With Humility? Work with Children

I have come to believe that people who work with children likely have the healthiest attitude in the body of Christ.  If they don’t, they haven’t worked with kids very long.  I have discovered that the longer I work with them and the more I think I know about what works or what is effective, the less I know.

I remember telling parent sponsors and team members that “churchy” sounding music won’t work in Kids for Christ.  Then I was a guest speaker at another school across town in their Bible Club, only to hear the “churchiest” sounding music I have ever heard.  To my utter shock, the kids LOVED IT…and I knew nothing.

I said kids these days will not engage with music that has kids singing in the background: Wrong again.  Messages must be high energy or you will lose the kids attention, after all this is a Nickelodeon generation.  I said I hate curriculum, then I wrote one. (I am still not a fan though.)

All I can say as the “expert” on ministering to kids in the public schools, is that the Holy Spirit knows what will connect with the kids you’re working with.  He knows the individuals and the group as a whole and HE WILL LEAD YOU if you let Him.

My latest know-it-all comment is one I still stand by as a general statement, BUT if the Holy Spirit leads you, then FOLLOW.  I have a ministry standard that in KFCUSA we don’t teach “doctrine”, just a simple central gospel message.  I really believe in this standard.  HOWEVER, because I am willing to let God lead me, then He does.

This past week I realized that I had under-prepared for a message.  Okay lets be honest, I hadn’t prepared at all!  As I was walking into the school I threw up a quickie to God, “Any direction as to what I should teach today”?  Then looked down a saw a tiny hole in my jeans that I had gotten this summer while helping unload the van at JFK in NYC as I was leaving for Tanzania.  I felt as though God was telling me to teach using my trip to Tanzania.  “Oh, Okay, Father, I can talk about Tanzania to the kids,” was my thought.  Needless to say, Mr. Experienced Kids Minister found himself in over his head in front of 50 kids trying to talk my way into some sort of message.

I told them that while I was there to teach in Tanzania, the kids usually sat outside and that my role on the team I was with was to teach Pastors how important it is to minister to kids.  I explained that over there it isn’t like it is here where “kids church” is the norm, but that these kids just hung outside.  Maybe they played, maybe they listened thru the window, but there was no children’s church.  I said, “When I was a boy, the highlight of the service was when we took communion”.  All of a sudden the two boys on the front row asked, “What is communion?”  I began to explain communion to the kids. I was sitting on the stairs with children around me on the floor simply sharing about communion with 50 kids.  It was sweet -- and it was right.

God knew how to lead me in the direction the kids needed to go.  He knew that a simple message about communion from my heart to theirs would cause six children to make a decision to serve Jesus with their lives.  I love that He knew that I was willing to let Him lead me in a direction that I had taught people would never work in that setting.  I love that the more I know Him and His ways, the less I know, and its okay.

Oh, I forgot to mention that when I asked the kids in the room, “How many of you don’t go to church on Sunday, but Kids for Christ is your only church?” Those two boys were among the nearly half the room that raised their hand.  In other words, God knew what would draw them to Him and He knew that no one else was going to teach that to them any time soon, if ever.  Kids ministry will teach you humility, and, it’s okay.

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