Scripture: Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Ps 34:11
Observation: I have noticed that this is not the phrase that is normally in my mouth, nor in other folks’ mouth. I wonder why….
Analysis: Believe it or not, my wife and led Children’s Ministry once upon a time.
I had the older kid’s (5-11); broad spectrum of ages and all at one time. It was a small church and obviously dedicated to family evangelism…there were a lot of babies, not many conversions from the outside.
While this scripture reference wasn’t top of mind then, it was the direction of our ministry to the children. I figured that if I could effectively communicate the Gospel to these children, then adult-ish wouldn’t be an issue.
I found that children are sharp, inquisitive, obedient, and…. easily distracted, have a short attention span, and rebellious all at the same time, or can show these symptoms any time right out of the blue. From them I realized they are just like adults.
Therefore, I needed to tailor my message to communicate the full Gospel to the ears of children and, in preparing in those ways, learning how to be a school teacher, systematically breaking down the facts of the Gospel (even the scary parts) and building line upon line, precept upon precept, thinking and acting like a master builder.
The point? Every believer has the same opportunity and commission. “Come here, boys: Let me teach you how to pray and pray effectively. Girls, do you want to join?” That is how I began my tenure in children’s ministry—just pulling the kids aside into an adjoining hall and sitting in a circle, teaching them how to pray.
“Follow me as I follow Christ.” That is the attitude to have, first to the face in the mirror, then to your spouse, then children, then others; so that it can be said:
Come, listen, and I will teach you the Fear of the Lord in the Gospel.
Hammer point: The Gospel is eloquent in all its facets. Do not be afraid to talk about Wrath as well as Love because both are the Good News of God.
Prayer: Lord, I remember Beth and Kayla fondly. I also remember Andrew and Michael sadly but with expectant hope for the future. Help me to trust in your Word that You know who are Yours and they will never fall from your fingers. AMEN.