A few weeks ago at our outdoor worship service, I was standing near one of our families while another member of the church read the scripture for the day. Since we are reading the story of Joseph from the Old Testament, we have heard some unusual things. That day, the scripture reader was telling how Joseph had been put in jail.
When the reader said the word “jail” I heard an audible gasp come from a child in that family. It was authentic, appropriate and a deep joy for me. Here is this child working his clay (the art medium of the day for worship) and seemingly not being attentive, taking in every word that was being spoken by the scripture reader. Not only was he hearing, but he was engaging fully in the words of scripture as a true story that actually happened, without that critical filter that we adults have come to carry with us.
This is what I love about ministry with children!
When children hear about being swallowed by a whale, or shut up in a lion’s den, or a man who couldn’t see being able to see after spit was applied to his eyes, they hear these stories with wonder and imagination and creativity. Their innocence is their gift. They don’t have to wonder about the whole earth being flooded and what that would have meant ecologically. They just hear about a God who saves in this miraculous and ingenious way. Suddenly they want to know this God of can make whales spit up people on dry land and change water into wine and create people out of the dust of the earth.
Next week children are going to gather on Adventure Island for a hallmark of our ministry with and for families – Vacation Bible School! It will be our first ever outdoor VBS (and hopefully our last VBS where masks are required). They will learn about our Creator, about a bush that was on fire but never burned up, about the healing of a man after he was lowered through a roof, about a God who goes out of the way to search and save the lost, and about a God from whom is not even death could suppress God’s love.
The children will hear this stories with wonder and amazement. They will take in the stories in a way that will change and shape and grow them as people of Jesus. How great is that!
If you want to change the lives of these children, contact Rachel Casper, director of children's ministry. She has a place for you in the delivery of wonder, amazement and faith to our children. Even so, please join us in prayer for this unique opportunity to reach these children with a faith that will forever shape them as Jesus followers.
Pastor Becky Jo