The Love of a Child

I know I’ve mentioned here that I co-teach at a deal called "Kids Club".  It is the Wednesday night children’s ministry at my church.  Hmmm…my church?  The church I go to?  Whatever; you know what I mean, right?!  Anyway, I co-teach meaning every other week I do the lesson, and on the other week I do the craft.  I have kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades.  Some of the kids come because they really want to, and ask their parents to bring them.  Others are there simply because we are used as a babysitting service for all the adult classes that are held on Wednesday nights.  We can have anywhere from 10 to 40+ children depending on what else is happening at church that night.  For years and years I have worked in children’s ministry, at whatever church we happened to be going to at the time.  It seems like if you aren’t "qualified" to do something else, they’ll just stick you with the kids…as if any fool could do kids stuff.  I really don’t feel like it’s my calling.  I dread Wednesday nights, because I generally don’t prepare very well, so I am just basically winging it while I’m there.  Sometimes I feel I am really doing a disservice to the kids.  I also feel like the gal in charge of this particular group, altho she is the sweetest gal and has a wonderful heart, well, she is rather….scattered.  Half the time I’m not really sure what I am supposed to be doing.  Last year was my first doing Wednesday nights.  I volunteered to help; next thing I knew I was the teacher.  I swore I wouldn’t do it again this year, but here I am.  Out of a church of almost 2000, I am the only one who will volunteer to do this???   I find that rather frustrating.  But, here is the strange part…as much as I really don’t like being the teacher, I love these kids.  Who in turn love me because I am the teacher!  I can’t tell you how much I love having one of these little ones run up and give me a big ol’ hug!  Some nights, when we do prayer requests, my heart just breaks for them…like the little gal who lives with her daddy and her stepmom (really nice people) but her bio-mom (who has never been married) just had a baby, and gave it up for adoption.  The little girl in my class is heartbroken because the adoptive parents live far away and she worries she’ll never see her baby sister, who she loves.  It seems really rotten to me that little children should have these kind of issues!  Or, the girl whose parents are divorcing.  Or the little boy whose parents are divorcing.  It just goes on and on.  It makes me so sad.  Of course, there are also the funny ones…like the little boy who prays every week that he can have a kitten, and "I’ll name it Sunshine".  Every week!  Also, here is a little "word to the wise" to you parents…watch what you say to your kids, and what you talk about in range of their little ears…because, believe me, I  (or whoever their teachers are)  will hear about it!  Oh-my-gosh – I can’t even imagine how embarrassed some parents would be if they had a clue what these kids tell me, or pray about!!    I also wonder, what does Kiki tell her teachers?  Is that why they are looking at me so funny?!  I hope they take it all with a grain of salt, like I do…as a parent, I do understand how kids can get the details rather mixed up, so I don’t take everything they say as the straight, plain truth!  My biggest prayer is that even if I am botching up the ‘orderliness’ of the teaching, I just want these little ones to walk out of there every week knowing how much God loves them, and that Jesus died to save them.  If they can grasp that, maybe I’ve done a decent job after all.     

5 responses »

  1. YES!  I use to be children\’s ministries director at a small church.  The group went from the 6 or so chldren of church members on Sunday mornings to 30-50 outreach children on any given Wednesday.  It was phenomenal, scary, heartwarming/wrenching and just basically a handful because there are NEVER enough workers.  No matter how much you get up in that pulpit on Sunday mornings and beg folks for help and try to convince them that it is really a worthy service and they won\’t have to deal with the bad issues, I would. 
    You invest yourself so much when you take these children from a light meal, to playing ball, to presenting a lesson and through prayer and the goodbyes on the bus.  You invest yourself because you can\’t help it and you wonder how other folks can. 
    We have moved on to another larger church and God has called me to step back and take a look at things before I leap in and add another responsibility to my families\’ life.  It is eye opening to see it from this additional angle.  I still love these children very much.  God has been faithful to show me that unless it is His time I may make things a lot more challenging for myself and my family at a time when He didn\’t plan it that way.  I know that He still used that time at the smaller church to His glory and a lot of children were ministered to.  But the congregation just wasn\’t there for the most part.  I often wonder if they ever are… kind of like the "if you wait to have a baby until you\’re financially able…" shpiel.  Good luck in your ministry!
    Tammy  🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. What?  What\’s wrong with dropping my child off on Wednesday night at church so me and my husband can have a quick date night??  JUST KIDDING!! (no hate mail please!)
    Oh my gosh… your story about the things kids say reminded me of my daughter telling her teachers at the Christian school she goes to … "M mom left her first husband for another man."  That\’s my little angel!  (long story and although it\’s true – I\’ve since turned from my wicked ways and been forgiven 🙂
    At a recent parent-teacher conference, we discussed the fact that my family is an open book because my daughter shares EVERYTHING that goes on in our home (brother got arrested, other brother smokes cigarettes, mom and dad can\’t pay their bills… it goes on an on.)
    The teacher said to not feel too bad, there was a little girl in her class some years ago who would say, "My mom is really grouchy today, it\’s that time of the month!"  At least my daughter doesn\’t go there!!
    Have a great evening!

  3. Hey, it\’s okay, before I taught on Weds. nites, we used to drop Kiki off, then go for coffee!  Oh, yeah, yesterday, I drove 5 little girls on a field trip…"my momma got arrested"  "yeah, mine was stopped because she was driving waaaay too fast"  "well, when my dad was younger, he was in jail \’cause he hit someone over the head"… holey cow, wait \’til I tell the parents!!

  4. What can I say, kids can make us laugh til we cry or pee our pants – depending on how old we are! 
    Thanks for all your kind comments. I agree, blogging is very much a personal thing and very cathartic, but in writing things so personal I don\’t know if I will offend anyone or be too open and honest.  At times, I just feel compelled to share certain things and I\’m certainly no angel so I don\’t want my site to be all about how wonderful my life is and what I\’ve accomplished (which really isn\’t much :-).  The reality is that I am nothing apart from Christ and I wish that my everyday life would reflect that more.
    I love your site and it always give me a good laugh or at least food for thought.  I\’ll keep checking in and bugging you with my silly observations! 
    I actually was first exposed to the MSN spaces by your site being voted "Best Of".  The night that I clicked on that link on the internet and got sucked into your funny stores and the life that you live was the night that I knew I wanted to do this as well.  In fact, if you look at my very first entry, I posted it at 12:10 am – but what you can\’t see is that I stayed up well past 2 am trying to figure out how you did the pretty background and stuff….. I\’m slow …..
    Anyway, I continue to look forward to your writings and sharing your life with us in blogland!
    Happy Saturday!

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