A few weeks ago I was reflecting on the children’s ministry here at NPMB church. Over all things were going pretty well, I thought. Somehow, however, my heart felt sad and concerned. Each child is so precious in God’s sight and I began to think of how we were DOING all of these things …..and I asked myself these questions, “Are we just doing this or are we building lasting relationships and are we still concerned for the salvation of the kids we see each week? Are we practicing verses and songs and teaching lessons because we want “good” kids?” “Lord,” I prayed, “if this is not how you want to reach the children give me the insight and courage to change it up. I don’t have a clue what that would look like but you created us, you know our hearts and you know how each child here can be reached by the power and wisdom of the Spirit. I just don’t want to have programs to baby sit or fill in time. Each teacher, each child, each song , each story, each lesson needs to be intentional to present your plan of redemption and how you want to have a relationship with us.” I had also been thinking about the parable of the sower and the seed….was the truth being planted?….and I had prayed that God would make our hearts soft so the seed would grow.
On Sunday, I was answering questions and chatting with people about Kids Zone. Off to the side stood a young teen, holding her 2-year-old brother. When all of the others had left, she approached me.“Tell Mrs. Fehr what you learned in Runabouts today.” With a clear, soft voice this little boy said, “My heart is so messy, it is such a mess but Jesus forgives!” He held up his little poster with a big yellow heart on it and “forgiven” written on it. Later his mom told me he had repeated it over and over during the week. Tears welled up in my eyes…. “Thank you, Lord,” I whispered. This is my answer….the seed is falling on soft fertile ground….this little boy is growing in his faith. Then I began to marvel….The teacher that day was a substitute. This is the working of the Spirit….God used her gift and way of explaining so this little boy could understand….relationship had happened quickly for him to trust enough to hear the message. And then I realized that this young teen, his sister, was tender to Jesus too…She knew that God had opened the eyes of her little brother and was excited for his knew understanding. She knew telling others was so important. Lastly, she was thrilled that he had begun to understand. Do you see? Do you see how God orchestrated that truth to fall on good soil with the substitute and the teen knowing and the good relationship with me she shared? Do you see the wonderous works of the Lord Jesus?
A few minutes later one of the classroom teachers came to me and said, “I just have to talk to you, you would not believe what God is doing in my life because I am teaching the grade 5/6 girls. Thank you for asking me to teach this age.” Wow! Lord, that’s a bonus affirmation of the work you are doing here, I thought. I sat quietly thanking God for these strong words from him about the children’s ministry. But God wasn’t finished encouraging me yet.
A while later another teacher poked her head out of the door and said, “Can you come to our classroom in a few minutes?” Visiting a classroom is always affirmative and I knew they had been practicing a little skit. When I entered the classroom and the children handed flowers to me and said thank you for the things I did for them!!!!!! Now I was laughing with praise. Ok God….I get it. This is not about me…it is about you…all about you and the writing of your love story in the lives of the people you have placed here at this time. God had shown me answers so directly…the truth was being planted in the hearts of the children…he used relationships to plant and grow the seed and he cared about details…even as far as a little pick me up from the children. Thank you, Jesus.