(Image snagged from Pinterest)
A summer in children’s ministry is really no summer at all. That is if your definition of summer is sleeping late with your teens, cleaning out closets and cupboards and sleeping in hotels with air conditioning when you are out of town.
My summer has been full of kids and activity and all that comes with it. But more than that it has been full of passion and ripe with purpose. And to think God called me here so long before I actually saw it. When the ad was placed for the position I am in, I hem hawed around. I had nightmares of throw up. And lice. I hate lice. Hate them so much I let the church hire someone else.
When I answered His call on my life to full-time vocational ministry, I also told God, “Not children’s ministry. I have my own children and I don’t even like them! I really want to love on their moms,” I muttered.
God’s answer was clear, “The best way to love on moms is to love their kids.”
As I sunk to my knees, I knew the truth in my heart: Loving their kids is loving them. Serving their kids is serving them. I love moms.
And after two years as the children’s pastor, I’ve learned something about myself: I love kids. And that’s a good thing because this is my first summer–since my college years–of kid ministry madness.
We just finished a record-breaking Vacation Bible School. Kids, kids everywhere, 144 of them to be exact. (You should know our church averages a bit less than 200 PEOPLE from 0-100 on Sunday mornings.) And along with all those kids, we ushered the flu, strep throat, a cold with fever, a nasty stomach bug, hand foot mouth disease and of course, the dreaded lice right in our church doors!
This is where I tell you I’ve had not one, not two, but three different virus/migraine bouts since June.
And it is all worth it because 14 children professed faith in Christ for the first time. It is all worth it because I realize I have a job that is a calling that uses all.of.me weekly. I have a ministry where I see God fill my gaps and stretch my resources. I get up, go to work and see God develop my talents, polish my gifts and push my passion. At the end of the week, I fall empty onto Jesus and He fills me back up every.single.time.
And I pray you, sweet sister, also have a place of ministry that uses your gifts, your talents and your passions. Uses all of you. A place to serve each day where you see Jesus fill your gaps and stretch your resources. I pray you have a place where you can simply love them. Even if they aren’t the thems you most want to love. Especially if they aren’t the thems you most want to love. I pray you find yourself loving those around you with passion.
Even if they have lice.
“I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow! I demand that you love each other as much as I love you.” John 15:11-12 TLB
As you read this, I am driving 16 kids to camp for the week (so you know that means true to form, I will be visiting you later in the week. Thank you for such grace.) I will be finding my passion in the dusty Texas woods’ 90 degree heat while using outdoor bathrooms… Pray for me?
Let’s talk about passion. What are your passions, gifts and talents and do you use them on a daily basis?
Please talk amongst yourselves until I get back to the civilized world with internet. In an effort to do this, would you be willing to visit the person before you in the linky and leave a word of encouragement?
SDG Gathering Important Information
Lisa Smith is helping me facilitate our gatherings each week. She is visiting those of you who link up on “even” numbers and I am visiting the “odd” (don’t worry, I’m not calling YOU odd). She will also be sharing on Mondays with you from time to time, opening up her heart and life to you, as you faithful do with us each week you link up. We do have some important housekeeping items about this gathering, so if you have not read them, please come here to catch up. The condensed version: Link up ONE post that shares your heart authentically and be sure to check in with some of your sisters who have linked up with you. Leave a heartfelt word of encouragement for them after you visit their space. This is a community where we actively seek to get to know each other.