Maybe I’ll use this staff letter to share a few of my observations from children’s ministry as I draw towards the last few months of the internship. Before coming here I was very unsure about how the children’s side of the role would go. I wondered how I would be able to relate to them; it’s now a long time since my younger brothers were little and I was hoping to fight less with the children here than I did with them. But actually, I was surprised by how, when you throw yourself in, most worries prove to be unfounded.
Children love attention, so even the fact that you make conversation over some colouring seems very valued. On Wednesday at Lighthouse (5-8 year olds) I decided to take a leaf out of The World According to Kids and ask some rather ‘bigger’ questions than usual while we cut out our paper medals. ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ yielded some of the usual results like ‘footballer’ so I stepped it up to ‘Does money make you happy?’ but either they didn’t hear me, or pretended not to. It is easy to go through all the activities and games and never have conversations about more weighty matters, but I’m trying to learn how to have a healthier combination.
As a side-note, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a comedian but you’re not actually very funny, try helping in Scramblers (3-5 year olds) on a Sunday morning. I introduced a bear (a toy, don’t worry) who was going to help tell the story. “His name”, I told them, “is Brillo”. Hoots of laughter!
I don’t think we want a dualist perception of fun and serious in children’s ministry. Most of all we want the children to know Jesus. This is a serious matter, but if we were to cut out all ‘fun’ that wouldn’t make us more successful or faithful. We pray that through the teachings, games and crafts, God draws them to Himself.
Charles (Children’s and Youth Intern)