A few of my nearest and dearest ministry friends and I had the opportunity to attend the one day Orange Tour in Lancaster, PA (at the Worship Center) earlier this week. I’ll be sharing what I learned over several days. Reggie Joiner and his team shared the six things kids need from us as KidMin leaders and Student Ministry leaders. They might seem obvious, but put together they are so valuable.
Kids need our time. We can get caught up in the day to day stuff of life and completely lose sight of how time is slipping away. We have around 1,000 weeks with our children before they head off to adulthood. That number seems big until you look at your twelve year old and realize the countdown is now at 288. What Reggie reminded us was that when you know how much time you have, you get more serious about what matters most. Orange has a Legacy Countdown app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/legacy-countdown/id635713919?mt=8 that shows you how many weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds you have left til your child graduates. This makes it real to me when I think about my own children. But it also reminds me that I have a limited amount of time with each of the children we serve in our ministry. How can I make it count for something greater than just a few fun games and cool songs? How do I make it stick beyond Sunday morning?
In his discussion of this, Reggie Joiner reminded us to tell ourselves over and over “I’m not God, I’m not the Holy Spirit, I cannot change a kid, but I can love a few.” That resonated with me as I considered how fleeting the time is with the kids I’ve been loving and serving in my ministry. I can’t do anything to insure a child will know Jesus personally, but I can do all that I can to provide an environment where that can happen and trust God to do the rest. If it pains me to consider one of my church kids walking away from the love of God, how much more must it break God’s heart to see this. I have to trust that God is in control, not me.
The final point of wisdom regarding time that Reggie shared was that we must value what happens over time. What we do in our ministries this week matters, but it can’t all be done in a week. We can’t do a quick run through of all the good news of Jesus in one week and call our work done. It is the consistent repetition of the core truths that God loves us, that he sent Jesus to die for us so we could be forgiven, that everyone matters to God, that will make an eternal impact on the hearts of children. It is our words that consistently speak love and worth to the child who doesn’t hear these words anywhere else that makes them believe them. Invest in what you cannot see- over the years you do what you can do and God WILL do what he promises.