Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.
I love children. Children’s ministry? Well…..
Teaching is a gift (1 Corinthians 12:28). I love teaching. To see the spark of understanding in someone’s eyes when he/she comprehends a new concept or hears a story for the first time validates the effort spent preparing to teach.
However, just because you can do a job well does not dictate that job should be your career. There is something to be said about enjoying what you are doing. Remember, today’s topic is children’s ministry.
My mom and sister both teach elementary aged children. They are gifted with a special portion of grace and patience that much of the world lacks. I can remember a time when I did some substituting and did not specify grade level. What was I thinking? After two days in a 2nd grade classroom with 25 seven years olds, I was on edge. My certification is in 7th-12th grade mathematics. I quickly learned that one of my favorite things about 7th-12th grade math is the 50 minute class period. The bell rings and the students leave to wreak havok somewhere else. Lol. Elementary classrooms are generally self-contained.
Do you know what self-contained means? It means you contain all the same 25 little darlings from 8:00am until 3:00pm (or longer) all by yourself! (With the exception of p.e. class, music, or something similar). Self-contained translates into self-drained in my case. Sure the young ones are cute and toothless and mainly sweet, but I’ll trade 45 minutes of teenage attitude any day. “Different strokes for different folks,” they say.
However, church needs must be met, and when there is no one else fulfilling the need…You got it. I taught it! From Sunday school to Wednesday Bible study’s and even the nursery, I filled in the gap. Hopefully to the bystander looking on, I showed love and joy, but in my heart of hearts, I held dread. It just wasn’t fun for me. I decorated the classroom, purchased curriculum, planned snacks and crafts all with a smile, but on the inside I longed to be in the adult class. I knew that children’s ministry was not my calling because instead of feeling inspired, fulfilled, and content after class, I would feel discouraged and empty.
I would pray about someone to take my place. I remember, a few years ago, I approached a church member and asked her if she would enjoy teaching the kid’s Bible study on Wednesday nights. When she responded yes, a levy broke inside of me, and I cried unexpectedly and uncontrollably. I’m surprised I didn’t scare her off! But, when you enjoy a task, you don’t mind the work. She is no longer attending church here, but the Lord has continued to provide teachers for the children.
I am learning that it is ok to let go. The Lord will provide. I can only do what I feel the Lord has called me to do. If I am doing someone else’s job, then I am robbing his/her blessing.