Lucy, Sable, and Romeo are the best of friends. They live together, play together, eat together, and sleep together. Each one is different and unique and each one is loved by our family.
You see, Lucy is our family Golden Retriever. She is trained to shake, dance, roll over, play dead, and retrieve balls. She is smart, sweet, and is very sensitive to the needs of others. Lucy is very submissive and desires to please everyone she meets.
Sable, on the other hand, is our miniature Dachshund and has a mind of her own. When she doesn't want to listen, she simply ignores our commands. Sable is also an avid hunter and it is not unusual for her to bring a snake right up to our back door... and even inside if we are not watching closely. Sable tends to take the leadership role in most every situation and knows how to communicate to the other two that "she is the boss."
Romeo is the youngest of the three and he is our miniature Yorkie. We like to call him our "Little Man." He tries to act grown-up, but definitely is a follower... not a leader. He loves to chase balls and play all types of doggie games, like keep away. He has learned from the other two dogs how to act and defend the house when he hears a noise. He also likes to go outside in the middle of the night... because he just wants to sniff around and keep 'grandpa' awake. Romeo is sweet, enjoys attention, and is very active.
Each one of our dogs has their own personality. Because they come from different breeds and backgrounds, they look different, behave differently, which is simply a reflection of who they are. All three have the ability to be trained and to learn special tricks or perform special tasks. With the appropriate attention, encouragement, and training they can learn and accomplish great things.
As wonderful as our dogs are, children are God's greatest creation. They are created in His image and special in His eyes. (Gen. 1:27) All children are fearfully and wonderfully made and deserve opportunities to learn and grow in the Lord. (Ps. 139:14) God desires a relationship with them and has given them the ability to have that relationship with Him. No child is exempt from God's purpose and plan and all should be given encouragement to know and trust in Him, worship Him, and serve Him.
Some children have learning challenges that make it difficult for them to fully demonstrate their love for the Lord. However, they too should be given opportunities to engage the Lord and experience His love within our children's ministry programs. Through appropriate planning and training of teachers and volunteers, every children's ministry program can minister to any child that comes to the program.
As children's ministry leaders we must be sensitive to the needs of children in our communities and therefore, equip and train teachers and volunteers with appropriate materials and teaching methods that will engage all children, so that they will be encouraged to experience the joy of the Lord. As we strive to minister to children we must not exempt any child from the opportunity to expereince the Lord and worship Him.
Do you believe that God has a purpose and plan for every child? Are children unique and special in His eyes? Do they deserve to have opportunities to know God? If your answer is yes, then, "tend His lambs." (John 21:15) They are unique and special in His eyes.