Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me,” and that always seems to be the go-to verse for children’s ministry. As a former 20+ year children’s director, I love this verse as well—don’t get me wrong—but …
This is not the verse I cling to when Sunday morning arrives during the winter … and the kids have NOT been outside all week because of weather … and moms are harried because of it … and they have given the kids donuts for breakfast … and every child on your church roster comes because moms and dads need a break … because the kids have also been out of school and parents have only heard “I’m bored” at home … and the pipes froze in the nursery so that room with the wonderfully thick carpet and padding has soaked up all of the water and squishes with a really cool sound … and the one teacher who is probably your best teacher called you on Saturday night and she has the flu.
REALLY, let the little children come! This is NOT my go-to verse on those days.
In fact, if I was really honest, I would be secretly hoping that not many kids would come at all because what in the world are we going to do with them when all of the pent-up energy and donut-induced sugar high collide with every child on your roster??
When you face a Sunday morning like this—and we all have them—I cling to the verses in God’s Word that led me to children’s ministry in the first place: the promises of my faithful, promise-keeping God. I hope they will encourage you this day as you read them.
Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.”
Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
These are the verses that I cling to when Sunday not only doesn’t go as planned, but is in fact just. plain. hard.
I am commanded in God’s Word to tell the next generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, to tell them in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in—sitting, walking, lying down, or rising up—and I am promised that God’s Word will stand forever.
In other words, THIS is what I cling to on those hard Sunday mornings: Faithfully teach God’s Word and wait to see what God does in the lives of your children. You know as well as I do that all of the hard things related to doing children’s ministry just disappear when we hear a little child confess his sin and receive Jesus as his Savior. AMEN!!
So as the winter lingers and hard Sundays come, “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
So, indeed I say, Let the Little Children Come!