Working with kids we often get a glimpse of who they perceive who God really is. That picture of who God is can run the gambit, from a cosmic and unreachable God in the sky to a Santa Clause type character who they pray to in seeking answered prayers, to everything in between. I realize a child’s perception of who God is can also vary widely based on their age as well. However, as KidMin Leaders it is one of our responsibilities to partner with parents in teaching kids who God really is.
We recently held our Kids’ Fall Retreat and our topic was “God is…” (we used a cell phone and texting theme). During this 2 day event we taught the kids some very real attributes about the nature of God. We taught them that He’s Faithful, He’s Trusting, He’s Always There, He’s Eternal, and He’s Loving. Through these 5 attributes of the 1 true God and what he did through Jesus, as well as through various learning, worship, and teamwork environment and activities, we communicated some very real truths about who God is.
We communicated that no matter what are going though or what circumstances we face, God is always there. He is not only there but He has the best for us weaved throughout our daily lives. In both the good times and the bad times. We also communicated that sometimes God can teach us the most about Him through painful times in our lives. Nevertheless, God has a plan for our lives and we have to place our trust in Him. We also learned that God sees the big picture when we can only see a snap shot. His plans are bigger because He can see the beginning to the end when we can sometimes only see what’s right in front of us. Furthermore, we learned that the purpose of His sending His Son was to provide us forgiveness and to offer a real and personal relationship with Him. This relationship is only attained through salvation in Jesus. Ultimately though, the basis of all of this, is rooted in His love for us. His love never ends and is bigger than anything we can ever imagine and we love Him because He first loved us.
The truth about who God really is should permeate our hearts for teaching kids the reality of what it means to enter in to a personal relationship with Jesus. It should also serve as a guidepost that directs what and how we teach kids about what God is doing, what He wants to do, and what He is going to do in their lives.
Thanks to LifeWay’s Zip for Kids for providing a framework from which we were able to teach kids about the amazing attributes of the 1 true God and who He really is!
As a vocational children’s minister I have always dealt with the quandary that parents face of putting sports, music, dance, or any other extra curricular activities before church events. To be brutally honest, when it comes to parents choosing between their children’s extra curricular activities or the church, the church oftentimes loses. In stating this I must be completely transparent. As a parent I have also chosen my daughter’s extra curricular activities over the church. Especially if there was an important practice or performance involved.
Please hear me, I’m not a stiff minded and old school children’s minister. I understand that children have many other things in their lives to which they have made commitments. However, I also find it troubling that sometimes parents place every thing out there before the church. As a parent and a children’s minister we must be careful what we choose to place a priority over the church. Essentially, when we habitually place our children’s extra curricular activities over the church we are placing priorities of the world over Christ. I know it’s a tight rope that we walk but we can easily find ourselves slipping and falling by what we teach our children about priorities and the importance of the church and especially Christ in their lives.
I said that to say this. This past weekend our church hosted our annual Children’s Fall Retreat and it was extremely refreshing to hear what one mom had to say about their priorities when it came to their child’s extra curricular activities and this particular church event. Her daughter is a very talented gymnast and competes on a high level. Her daughter had gymnastics the same weekend as our fall retreat. When the girl’s parents dropped her off for the Fall Retreat her mom said something profound about her daughter’s conflict. Her mom said the following when it came to choosing between gymnastics and the Fall Retreat…She said it’s “Christ over gymnastics!” That was extremely refreshing to hear from a parent. I delighted in their decision and especially what brought them to this decision.
Please hear my heart, I’m not indicting parents who choose their children’s extra curricular activities over the church. What I’m trying to communicate is that we as parents need to properly order our kids priorities, because if we won’t the world will.
It’s easy to get caught up in all that our children have going on and it takes discipline to put Christ first. I fully understand we cannot bring our children to every event sponsored by the church. Even so, it was a breath of fresh air to hear this parent vocally express their commitment and priority to Christ.