Heartprints

I Hate Children’s Ministry?

Scorching hot, as to turn the skin into a dehydrated vegetable, the desert became a battlefield between two people. One person arrived to the one who has been waiting. Mere sentences describe days of battle between the two people. Prior to the battle, thousands of years had passed, leaving this prophesied story left to be like an old wise tale, fun to listen to but nothing to live by (Genesis 3:15). What’s the story? What’s the tale? Jesus arrived to the earth and Satan hates it, let the earthly battle begin! Has our children’s ministry allowed the gospel to sound like an old wise tale, filled with facts fit for campfire story times and something fun to listen to every once and a while?

Scorching hot, as to turn the skin into a dehydrated vegetable, the desert became a battlefield between two people. One person arrived to the one who has been waiting. Mere sentences describe days of battle between the two people. Prior to the battle, thousands of years had passed, leaving this prophesied story left to be like an old wise tale, fun to listen to but nothing to live by (Genesis 3:15). What’s the story? What’s the tale? Jesus arrived to the earth and Satan hates it, let the earthly battle begin! Has our children’s ministry allowed the gospel to sound like an old wise tale, filled with facts fit for campfire story times and something fun to listen to every once and a while?

Old wise tales linger on from generation to generation normally being hyped up around a midnight campfire. We are not here to roast marshmallows, but learn about a real person having come to the earth to fulfill a mission. Jesus, led by the Spirit, encountered one who hates and opposes God. God promised that one will come to provide salvation from their sins, good news because of the bad news (Genesis 3:15). God declared his creation good and the news of the promised one to come. Satan is the bad news, always dispensing bad news that sometimes sounds good. The meaning of Satan’s name, adversary, fits perfectly to his actions of opposing God and all that God declares good.

If God sent Jesus to the earth to bring salvation to those having faith in him, then children’s ministry promoting God is good. If children’s ministry is good, then Satan hates it. If Satan hates what is good, then he will tempt and try all of those involved to join his side of opposing God. If we do not learn from Jesus (good news), then we join the adversary’s side. If we are on the adversary’s side, we then hate children’s ministry. Like bitter medicine from the old days, this question isn’t sugar coated, and we need to take it, “Do we hate (oppose) children’s ministry?”

Jesus was kept alive in the wilderness by ministering angels and the power of the spirit (Mark 1:12-13). We are kept alive by the power of his good news, the gospel (Romans 1:16)! Kept alive, we are sent on his mission to bring this good news to the world. Old men in the church bitter at children, always looking for a reason to yell at their mistakes, need to taste what is good, repent and follow Jesus. The young seminary students focused on pulpit ministry first need to serve in children’s ministry. The children’s ministry leader who only understands children’s ministry as a program needs to get with Jesus’ program. Like a confused foot soldier getting up from a nearby blast, I look around to see which fellow solder is alive or dead. Satan creates blasts, but Jesus keeps us alive, as he was kept alive in the desert!

To be continued …

Further Reading:

The Trellis and the Vine

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This is part of the blog posts series from Missional Education on the gospel in children’s ministry.