August is here and the dog days of summer are coming to a close. That’s right! Back to school season is underway. For children’s ministry leaders that means a fresh start for a lot of us. Fresh opportunities to reach children and families in exciting, innovative, and new ways. As parents are beginning to put away their vacation clothes and beat the lines for school supplies, please don’t sleep on the amazing opportunity God has given you to impact the local schools in your community and no I’m not talking about a Back-to-School drive even though those are awesome. I've got an even better idea...
“This year choose to be so good at what you do in children’s ministry that even the school teachers take notice.”
Did you know that what you do or don’t do in children’s ministry directly impacts the educators of the kids you serve week after week? It’s true! Ask any teacher. They notice every investment that you think are falling on deaf ears and they are grateful. Every lesson on forgiveness. Every emphasis on grace. Every teaching on love and mercy is impressed upon their little hearts and affects the way they carry themselves at school, in the cafeteria, and on the playground. Your investments are revealed in how they treat their peers, the side conversations they have with their friends, and even how they deal with conflict.
I will never forget receiving a text message from one of my 7-year old son’s teachers. She wanted me to know that during story time, the topic of where people go after they die came up. That’s when my son who was known to be notoriously shy in all classroom settings shared with the whole class about the hope of heaven and the gift of Jesus. As a faith-filled believer herself, she was floored by the experience and felt compelled to let me know. Her text closed with this, “Gideon evangelized to the entire class today. It was so beautiful and I thought you should know.” I wish I could take all the credit for my mini-evangelist but I can’t. As I read her text I began to reflect on all of the amazing children’s ministry leaders who had labored and invested in his faith over the years; the Awana leaders, Sunday school teachers, and midweek program volunteers. They had all been sending him a consistent message and he believed it. Through our collaborative efforts, somewhere along the line he had developed faith and was taking it with him everyday he went to school.
My point is this. The role of an educator can be endless and downright overwhelming. Even though we can’t solve all their problems, as children’s ministry leaders, we can make their jobs just a little sweeter and their loads a tad-bit lighter when we partner with parents in the church to build spiritual champions that go into their school environments and exercise their influence for the glory of God.
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