“Did you know,” the four year old wriggled with eagerness, “that God is bigger than Santa Claus?!” With a giant smile on my face and a quiet laugh and nod, I just had to say “Yes, you’re right. He’s WAY BIGGER!” Other hands went up, some with deep thoughts and some not so much, but they were all so real and so close to their hearts. These moments touch my hearts and make me slow down to listen, think and wonder. This is what happens downstairs on a Sunday morning, when kids are given time and space to be known, to listen to God’s Story, to have time with their own thoughts, and to share. I treasure each of those moments with the kids on Sunday mornings. Each Sunday brings wiggles, giggles, squirming and sometimes tears as excited kids worship in song and learn through play.
Perhaps too often, we grown-ups think of Sunday School as a time to get the kids out of “adult” church and into their own classes to hear a story and do a craft. But that is not it at all! Sunday Morning Kids Ministry is when kids do church too. They worship, pray, read the Bible and interact with its stories as they play and live into God’s Story for their lives. It’s an incredible model for us as adults. I don’t just want to show up. I want to engage. I want to know God is real. I want to hear His Story and how I fit into it. I want to praise God through song, reading the Bible, tasting the bread and wine representing His unconditional love for me. And that’s what kids want also…they want it just for themselves. They want to know God is real.
The squealing, talking, racing and sometimes crying are the noises that the kids bring each week to All Souls Kids Ministry. There are noises and emotions and wondering. And in the middle of all that energy there is worship. I know that God is smiling down on his children as they gather to play, learn and sing together.
Kids Ministry volunteers get a taste of that each week as they engage with kids in the context of a time and place that looks and feels different than the rest of the week. The adults leading are led by the questions and wondering of the kids…and the privilege and challenge of walking into God’s Story with God’s kids. I am so thankful to see God working in the lives of all ages. God is real. He loves us. He treasures His children.
Just following singing time each week, we carve out time for prayer (as much prayer as 40 little bodies can handle). I often ask if someone would like to come to the front to pray. What surprises me each time is the hands that go up. They are often the hands of the quietest and most reserved kids and they want to talk to God. They have something to say. They are confident in their prayers.
Wow. Lord, please teach me to have faith like a child. To dare to say it. To be brave. To trust that You, Lord, are listening.
“ Let the little children come to Me…for of such is the kingdom of heaven. “
-Jesus ( Matthew 19:14)