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Posts Tagged ‘kids ministry’

It may only be semantics (“the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text”) but my title is my mindset. I have a lot of duties between work, church, home, and everything in between, but if I try to remember that these duties are not things I HAVE to do, but things I GET to do, I seem to stay in a pretty decent place emotionally and mentally.

Of course, there are many examples in life where I need to repeat this out loud (over and over and over)…such as cleaning the toilet, decluttering my basement, cutting back my irises, shoveling the driveway…and so on. But my examples are still “GET TO” examples. For instance, I get to clean my toilet – because I am blessed with indoor plumbing (many in the world still rely on outhouses, or worse). I get to declutter my basement – because I have so many things that I can bless someone else who needs them more than I do. I get to cut back my irises, because they were so large and prolific this summer, blessing me with a beautiful view from my kitchen window, and cutting them back will give me even more blooms next year. I get to shovel my driveway, because my husband and I make a great team, my back is healthy, and I’m able to help this winter.

One of my favorite “GET TO” opportunities is working with kids. Since my own are grown and gone, I’m getting all my kid time in teaching Sunday school, working with the middle and high schoolers on Wednesday nights, giving the Children’s Sermon on Sundays, and whatever else comes up. Love those kids! I don’t even have to say “GET TO” in my head.

I hope you have areas in your life where you can switch your mindset from “HAVE TO” to “GET TO” – it’s pretty freeing and helps me choose gratitude over grumbling.

“So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7 (CSB)

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img_1315For the last three plus years I have surrounded myself with kids. I’ve always enjoyed children, especially my own, but sometimes a few could really get on my nerves. Honest confession: I like kids who behave. But as I’ve grown older, I think I have more grace than when my own children were younger.

Quite a few years ago, when I helped out in a kids’ ministry to 4th-6th graders, I’d get exasperated with the kiddos who enjoyed causing turmoil. I think they felt it was their calling in life. “Let’s get Kris to lose her temper.”  And each Wednesday night, I left irritated. Now I know the Bible says to love everyone, but these little ones got on my very last nerve every week. So much for showing the love to Jesus to the world, right?

img_2090Then came a seven year hiatus, when I basically had no ministry responsibilities. I spent a lot of alone time with Jesus. Through a series of events, I felt a mindset shift in many areas. I made intentional choices to get healthy, ready my Bible, lose weight, reconnect with friends and family, take up running, explore new adventures. Somewhere in the course of that time, I fell in love with kids again…even those that used to irritate me. Of course, I don’t have involvement with those same kids from way back, but I still encounter children whose sole purpose in life is to disrupt whatever environment they are in. They’re really good at it too. But God has given me a supernatural love for them. No way could this be on my own. And on top of that, I love all the other ones too. The ones who are wild and crazy, the one whose smile lights a room, and the ones who are shy and reserved.

img_1567Every child needs to know they are valued and loved, no matter their behavior. The world they live in is turbulent and scary so I want to be a safe place for each one. A place they can go for encouragement, a hug, a prayer, maybe even a little face-to-face “what ARE you doing?” if necessary. I want them to see Jesus in all that I say and do. Occasionally I get in someone’s face to confront behavior that is unacceptable (cheating, lying, bullying are non-negotiables), but mostly I want them to really know they are loved…by me and most importantly, by God. I still make mistakes…many times. But I’m relying on the grace and mercy of God. He loves those kids more than I do!

I am blessed to be a part of the kids’ ministry at our church. We have preschool through high school as part of our Wednesday night program. This week is our last JAM (Jesus and Me) of the school year and though I’m tired, I’m sad too. Once the program is finished, I may not see some of these kids again until September, or maybe not at all.  We have such a small window of time and opportunity…make it a count. These kids are worth it!

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