How many times in our children’s ministry has the story of the Good Samaritan been told? Numerous and countless times. We are able to recite the story from memory and most likely the children in our classes can do the same. Often times in our haste to prepare a lesson for children, we read the bible passage from the mindset of a child. Often times, we quickly skim through the words in God’s book, overlooking the depth and power of timeless truths. Many times we are guilty of not even reading the bible before Sunday morning simply because we are “just teaching children” and so we show up in the classroom and wing in.
I know all about that. I can show up unprepared, retell a bible story, tell kids the facts and hope they experience the love of Jesus in the words I tell them. By doing this, I have lowered the bar of teaching with excellence, decreased the value of God’s timeless truths for children (as well as for myself), and I’ve muddied the beauty and dulled the passion of glorious grace.
I realize that God can still use my lame-duck teaching efforts to work his glory into the hearts of children but now I’m beginning to see how frequently I miss the mark and I am repenting more so. I am more and more convicted of my sin with taking for granted the word of God.
Children’s ministry can become a wasteland of morality training instead of a culture of gospel transformation. Having a passion for children’s ministry is having a passion for gospel transformation in the hearts of children…as well as in the hearts of those that teach them.
I pray that we who lead children don’t just show up but we grow up and own this: the grand story of Scripture!