Friday, September 27, 2019

Teaching Children Is a High Calling

(Some of our Redeemer kids)

I serve in our Sunday morning children's ministry two Sundays out of every six weeks. I teach kids, get to know them, pray with them and for them, worship with them, and have fun with them. This is good for me, for the kids, and for our church family.

I invest in the lives of our children. Given the moral and spiritual condition of America, there may be no greater cause to invest my life in.

At Redeemer we have 60+ adults who, on Sunday mornings, take turns investing in the lives of our kids. (Thank you!) This feels healthy to me. Our children get to know many of our adults. They see adults that love them, want to spend time with them, and want to impart spiritual and moral wisdom to them. Some children do not see this often. Some, never. (Recently I told a teen that I saw some great abilities in them. Immediately they said, "No one has ever told me anything like that before.")

It is my joy to spend this coming Sunday with second through fifth graders. I've been teaching them for several years, love them, and look forward to being with them. An added bonus is I think they like me. Some even think I'm funny, which encourages me!

Our kids classes are now focusing on "the armor of God." This Sunday our verse is Ephesians 6:15: with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. I have a great team of teachers with me. When we do this lesson, we will give it our very best. This Sunday our kids are going to learn some of life's most important lessons. They will interact with us. And, as often happens, one or more of them will ask a question we cannot answer. (Even me, and I am a many-degreed, professional theologian.)

As I look at America I see children who do not live with both parents. I see children of divorce (for more on this, see here). I see behavior problems.

I asked a school principle in Monroe about this. "What do you attribute behaviorally challenged kids to?" Immediately he said, "Their parents." Or lack thereof.

Every child needs a mentor. A spiritual father and mother. Ours is, largely, a mentorless generation. I have even heard some parents boast of "leaving our children to make decisions on their own." How irresponsible it is to abandon them to their immaturity! This would be like a sherpa, who says to a beginner, "I leave you to climb Mount Everest on your own."

At Redeemer many are preparing our children morally and spiritually for the future. We are creating a generation of worshipers (you should see our kids worship!). Our kids pray for the sick. They are growing in biblical knowledge. We adults teach them how to do this.

And they give. I have seen some of our children give sacrificially to help a needy person. Several of our kids serve in the Soup Kitchen we helped start.

A teacher gives away what they have. My experience is that, in teaching our children, I gain more than I have given.

My sons are no longer kids. But our church family has many children, and I have a responsibility to be one of their many mentors.

This is a high calling. In today's world, is there any higher? Is anything more important than this?