Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Month to be Thankful- 1

We've all seen it on our social media sites... it's November and that means it's time to be thankful.  
All over social media I am reminded daily of all the things that people are thankful for and I think it's absolutely fabulous.  
I love seeing people sharing their gratitude instead of sharing their complaints. 
I thought I'd mix it up a little bit for my blog and invite some of my friends and fellow bloggers to share the reasons that they are thankful for Children's Ministry. 

I still have room for a few guest's to share why their thankful so e-mail me at: if you'd like to share. 

Today, we're hearing from my friend and fellow #KidsMin Ashlyn Holland.  Ashlyn is truly fabulous at what she does.  She has such a heart and passion for children and we love to keep up with what the other is doing.  Ashlyn and I went to high school together and then found ourselves at the same college so we've known each other such a long time.  Ashlyn not only serves as a fantastic #KidsMin, but she teaches school during the week as well so she is constantly pouring into kid's lives and I love seeing the ways that the Lord is using her to make an impact on this generation.  Check out what Ashlyn has to say about why she is thankful for #KidsMin. 

Being Thankful for Children’s Ministry—a perspective of a Children’s Pastor
When I think about the many aspects of children’s ministry, there are a lot of factors that shape and mold what I would consider a kingdom-driven ministry. As a children’s pastor, the sole purpose of ministry for me, is to equip, nurture and mature children so that they are confident in “taking on” the world that surrounds them as a believer of Jesus Christ. Though there are many things that go into equipping, nurturing and maturing a child, one thing has to be evident at all times; (genuine) LOVE. The Bible tells us to love God and to love people. It sounds so simple, yet can be so difficult at times. Let’s take a situation that I recently found myself in and use it as a learning opportunity to illustrate to you what I really mean by genuinely loving those around you.
I was in the middle of teaching a lesson during children’s church and there was a child who would not stop talking, distracting others or keep their hands (or any other body part for that matter) to themselves. In that moment while I was preaching my heart out to this room full of children, I just stopped. I looked at the child and a part of me wanted to flat out ask, “Do you even care that I am up here trying to teach you?!” But instead I politely said, “I would like to speak with you in the other room.” I found myself face to face with this child and as I was getting ready to give my “normal talk” I found myself asking a very simple four-word question: “What is going on?” The reaction I got was totally not what I expected. The child began to cry and then proceeded to pour their heart out to me. They expressed how they couldn’t help it, they just feel pushed to the side at home, they are worried about what will happen next with some of the people that are living in their home; as the list went on and on, I just sat there in amazement. I had known and interacted with this child regularly for three years and did not have a clue. The teacher in me just thought, they must lack self-control in some areas and don’t know how to behave at times. How wrong I was. That saying you may hear from time to time, ‘you never know what someone could be going through,’ became reality to me as I sat there looking at a child who was broken and in need of someone to show them the love of Jesus. That was an ah-ha moment for me (I tend to have them often). The moment I realized that there is more to just standing up on Sundays and teaching children about the different stories you can find in the Bible and how we can apply the lessons learned to our lives. It goes back to two things so many of us lack; creating meaningful relationships and showing the love of Jesus. In order to create meaningful relationships and show the love of Jesus, we first have to LOVE (just as He first loved us). We are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but we are also sinners saved by amazing grace from God alone. (Ephesians 2:8). If it were not for God’s grace, I would not be where I am today. Just as He has shown love and grace and so many other things to me daily, I should do the same to the children that I interact with daily. It’s not a one-time thing. Just as the love of Christ is constant in our lives, I have grown to realize that loving and showing love to others should be approached in the same way. What in the world do I want you to take from all this? There are a two simple things:
1.) Children are not just the future, they are the NOW and it is OUR responsibility to equip them to go out and show the love of Christ to others. 
2.) We cannot equip children to show the love of Christ to others, if we, ourselves do not show the same to them.
I am thankful not only that God has given me the amazing opportunity and responsibility to lead children as their pastor, but also because He continuously gives me opportunities to minister to children and their families. He also gives me the opportunity to create new meaningful relationships with others and show the love of Jesus to them. Whether you are a children’s pastor/minister or a volunteer/helper, always be mindful of the little things and never take for granted the opportunities God gives you to love on (minister to) these precious children and their families. Every opportunity is something to be thankful for, for this is the time you get to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. Don’t take it lightly and above all else, no matter what; LOVE just as He has loved you.

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