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Ok, I just had to share a couple of cool stories that I’ve experienced lately in my Children’s ministry that deserve mentioning. One of which was a pretty cool moment and then one that was well…less than cool. They both happened a week from each other and I think they represent the highs and lows of children’s ministry pretty well.
The 1st instance I’ll call “Victory Dunks” and it involved a couple of my elementary age boys that I recently had the privilege of leading to Christ and who really wanted to get baptized. I really like these kids and I believe their parents are really trying to raise good God-fearing boys. The first boy I baptized had this really cool, spiky Mohawk hair-do and the other boy has this sweet contagious smile. Both are just really good kids. When I baptized the first boy what was amazing was that he never lost his spiky Mohawk hair. It hung in there despite the dip in the water. I also missed holding his nose and about poked his eyes out, but he was tough and handled it with grace. The other boy I baptized went into the water with a smile and came out and threw his arms up in victory. The audience cheered with him! The whole episode was so cool and really inspiring because in both cases I got to witness victory and God received the Glory.
The 2nd instance I’ll call “The Runner” and it involves a child that decided that this particular Sunday they really didn’t need to hang out with the other kids in their age level room. In fact the kiddo decided that she didn’t need to hang out with anyone in the entire children’s ministry and tried at every opportunity to escape the clutches of the class teachers and assistants by bolting for the door. After several sneaky but futile attempts our little “runner” was finally successful and shot out the door quicker than a cat. The child made it all the way to the doors of the auditorium before encountering one of our nice but very large security folks and that’s when the little runner’s party ended. The teacher eventually caught up and took the rather unhappy child back to the torture cell otherwise known as her classroom. The teachers in the room felt absolutely horrible but I explained that no matter how hard you try every once in a while you’re going to come across a “runner” and the only way you keep a runner from continuously trying to run is to shut down the opportunities and in the process show them a little extra love and grace. Oh and always keep an eye on em!
The two stories above represent one of the greatest and one of the least favorite emotions a children’s minister can feel on any given Sunday. On one hand I was on a spiritual high and on the other hand I felt like puking just thinking about losing one of the kids. I’m sure those of you who serve in children’s ministry can relate with this.
When I think about this at a deeper level I think about how God must feel constantly. He witnesses His children experiencing victory and He also has to deal with runners all day long. I’m so thankful that God still loves us regardless if we pursue Him or if we run from Him. Aren’t you?
By the way...I'll always welcome the runners to my church. That's because they are usually the ones that I end up doing the victory dunks eventually! Yeah - God is so good!!!!!