We’ve all heard stories, we’ve all told stories! We tell stories for entertainment, for fun for teaching lessons, for so many things! In fact, our life story is probably the one thing we have the no one can truly dispute! Why is it then, that in Kids ministry and in parenting, we are so content to retell a story, instead of live a story worth retelling? As I pondered the upcoming Easter weekend, I found myself hesitating to just “teach another Easter lesson in kids church”. Is it that I don’t believe that Christ’s Death and Resurrection isn’t important? OH NO.. it is pivotal. My hesitation came in that I don’t want the kids to walk away treating it as “just another story”. My heart began to cry out – God how can my kids encounter the REAL you, and forever have that memory marker in their history and life where they KNOW, that they know that they know – they encountered God!
For me, today, April 18th is a celebration of God’s AMAZING healing power! For years I suffered with chronic pain due to an arthritic related condition. There were days I couldn’t walk, and the pain kept me from so much life! But that all changed on April 18th, 2004 – when the leadership at my church prayed for me, and the healing power of God flooded over me – I have been pain free since!! Praise God! That experience, is another marker in my life that says “there isn’t anything you can tell me that will convince me otherwise – I know GOD is real and he cares for me”. It is one of many markers – moments in my life where I encountered God – answered prayers, amazing provision, healing, circumstances happening in such a way that it couldn’t be coincidence! My encounter with truth, left a mark in my life. That mark sparks passion for me that makes me want to introduce God to others, and share this story with them – my testimony! These markers in my life – give me HOPE when the going gets tough and the days are cloudy. Re-telling a story has it’s place, but in order for our faith to be real, and deep – we ourselves must have a story – an encounter with God that we retell. In our ministry, in our parenting do we allow room for GOD to move? to provide? To come through? or is God merely a story we keep telling our children? The goal is for our children to have their own testimony, not a recitation!
This week as I read the scriptures I was studying 1 Cor 2:4-5 which says “4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
It occurred to me that if our kids do not have an encounter with God’s power – their faith likely is being built on human wisdom (information)- which means another person’s clever argument will quickly unravel everything they thought they believed. Instead, our focus should be on helping our kids encounter God in real life, real situations where God is the real answer – that leaves a marker in their lives, which fosters passion to pursue him and the hope to get them through the dark seasons. Revelations 12:11 says they overcame by the blood of the lamb, and the word of their testimony.
This Easter, don’t just re-tell the Easter story, make room for your kids to encounter the HOPE that is Jesus Christ crucified! Tell your story, then let them share theirs! God’s story isn’t over yet, we are all players in the next chapter. How will your life read?