Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 13 - And then there was M&M's!

So after a couple of years of doing Sontime on Sunday mornings, and HizKidz as an after school program, the leadership of the church started talking about having a "family night".  The idea was that there would be something for everyone.  Bible Studies for the adults, the youth program for the high schoolers, a confirmation program for the junior high school kids, and something else (including a nursery) for the rest of the children.  It was decided that this event night would include a simple meal for a small charge.  The hope was that people would come and have a dinner together and then each go to their own area.  I remember coming up with the idea for "M & M's" - Meals and Ministry nights.  So, once again we were "inventing" a program for the children.  We wanted to do something different than our Sunday program. It had to look different because we only had 4 adults from our leadership team to lead the small groups.   So after a brainstorming meeting we decided to do a worship focused hour at the beginning of the time.  We taught the kids songs that we were singing on Sunday mornings during worship.  There was also lots of education about worship.  And we also did some quiet times of just listening to Jesus.  It was during one of those times when a little 2 year old girl raised her hand when I asked for kids to share what they were hearing or seeing from Jesus.  She had a limited vocabulary, but she said " many colors".  We all knew that she was, indeed, seeing Jesus.  After worship, we did Bible study for the kids - (Nursery, 2-4 year olds, K-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade).  I taught the 2-4 year olds.  During that time I discovered just how much these very little kids really understood about Jesus.  I began to see how the church - including me - had underestimated these little ones.  Somehow these hungry little soles memorized the books of the Bible - including knowing a basic one sentence statement with the subject of the book!  I was amazed.  We talked about prayer and started prayer journals that were just simple drawings that had the words added by the adults as they were spoken by the children.   There were some powerful prayers and answers to prayers from these kids. 

It was around this time that I knew that Jesus was calling me to be a voice for the children.  While it was about teaching the children, it was more about speaking to the parents and the leadership about the importance of including the children in all aspects of the church.  Somehow it seemed that the children were just to be kept out of worship and entertained until they were somehow supposed to WANT to be in church when they hit confirmation age.  What??? This was a real mystery to me.  It was no wonder that so many youth just endured church until they were old enough to leave.  

Yes, this revelation really changed my life and led me down some very different paths than I could have predicted.  And, of course, there is STILL more to this story!  I am being so blessed by these blogs.  Each memory reminds me of the faithfulness of Jesus.  Every story brings to mind the working of the Holy Spirit in my life.  It feels like I am putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle and every story is a piece of that puzzle.  I can't quite see the finished picture yet, but I think I am growing in understanding that there is a "big picture"! 

Jesus, thank you for this blog and all who take the time to read this.  Bless them all as they take time to share their own stories.  Holy Spirit, what a joy it is to know that every day you are guiding and directing me.  Thank you for helping me to see the big picture you have for my life!  Amen

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