Sunday, February 14, 2010

Faith like a child

I love serving in the children's ministry at my church. Obviously, I like kids, but there are so many things that I get out of it. I'm not saying every Sunday I have this amazing face to face with God through a giggly 1st grader. I probably wouldn't appreciate it if I did. Instead, God sprinkles those mind-blowing moments throughout the year, when I'm not really expecting them. He just pours Himself all over my face and into my heart through the kids. Today was, as you may have guessed, one of those days where He decided to fill me up.

The children's ministry at GFUMC is based on Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." That means we don't just sit around and sing, "Jesus loves me" and color a picture of Him holding a lamb every week. We actually teach them scripture and about who God is and how He is relevant in their lives.

The unit we're in right now is on worship. We've taught them that worship isn't just about singing a song about God. Every single thing you do in your life can be (and really SHOULD be) an act of worship. We've colored pictures for God. We've written Him love notes. We've danced and, of course, sang. We talked about how God made each of us different, and made us good at different things so that we could use our talents to worship and praise Him. It's been pretty cool. Today during large group, instead of the usual format which is we sing 3 or 4 songs then break into 2 groups (1st and 2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade) to have the main lesson, we had Worship Day. We sang, we danced, we clapped, we prayed, we read scripture, and we raised our arms up to our Father to ask Him for more of Him and more of His love. Frequently during praise & worship, my kiddos get distracted. They're in a room with a bunch of kids (mostly older than them), with friends they don't (usually) see the other 6 days of the week, with music playing. Put those factors in with a 6 year old attention span and, well, you get the picture. Because of that, I was a little skeptical about how well my class would do with the intense worship day. The majority of them waned at different points, but towards the end, when the singing turned to clapping and dancing, God was like a hurricane force wind moving in that room. I'm sure there are people tempted to say, "Oh, kids are just followers; they epitomize the mob mentality and were simply succumbing to peer pressure," but friend, I FELT HIM THERE. My eyes literally welled up with tears as I heard their little voices raising up to proclaim their love for Jesus, when I saw the smiles on their faces with their eyes closed just being with the King. I have prayed more than once for the adults in the church to get it the way the kids do. It is impossible to not feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of something like that, to witness faith in the purest form that way. It will change your faith in amazing ways.

God uses kids. He loves them, and they love Him back. They aren't like us in their need to know all the details. They just believe because they love. I mean, I know how annoying the "why" phase is for kids, but most of them don't have that with God. They don't ask why their parents love them, and they don't ask why God loves them, either. They just know and accept that He does. I have one little guy in my class that I absolutely ADORE. His mom told us today that he made God a valentine, and wrote in it that he loves God more than he loves his parents. When his teacher asked how they could make the world better (trying to get them to say "recycle" or "use less water") he said, "We can tell more people about Jesus Christ." He is completely right! At 6 years old, he embraces a love and truth that most adults just don't get. God wants ALL of us to love Him the way Little Man does. He doesn't change. WE DO. We get wrapped up in all the details of life and forget the most basic truth in our lives: God loves us and knowing Him makes our world better. FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD... I want a faith like that, don't you?

Pray for our kids. Pray that they don't lose this excited love and adoration for Jesus. Pray that as they change, that part of them stays the same. Pray that they will never be embarrassed to jump and shout how much they love Him. They're going to change the world. God is moving in them, and I'm excited for it. Children between the ages of 4 and 14 are the largest population group in the WORLD. A population that large with a fire for God can't help but change it!

*sigh* God, You're so cool. And I love You!

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