8. Need is there, if you just look for it. My office window faces the west end of the city. For the most part, the west end of downtown was spared heavy flooding. Unfortunately, the west side of Nashville (Bellevue) was one of the hardest hit areas. I just can’t see it from here.
I’ve noticed that often times in ministry, folks with real need don’t often request help. Yes, there are always exceptions to this rule, but my experiences, more often than not, have been that folks are proud and will not choose to seek help. Yet families are struggling; kids are being bombarded with conflicting messages about acceptable standards, correct behaviors, and legitimate world views; marriages continue to break apart leaving kids suffering and struggling. The need is there, if you just look for it.
9. Invest in people. The extent of the damage has been greater than anything I could have imagined on Sunday morning. Some communities have received so much damage that it’s just overwhelming. It’s paralyzing. I’ve found myself saying, “That’s just so big, there’s nothing I can do.” Correct, I can’t do it all… but I can invest in one person, one family, one need and make a difference.
In my experiences, things are seldom calm and without drama in Kids Ministry. We have so much to coordinate, so many to lead, so much to do… there is little down time in Kids Ministry. (Can I get a witness?) Often times we get our sights on the big picture and forget the individuals represented in the picture. Remember that often it’s the little things that mean a lot. It’s the “stopping to speak,” the “quick little hugs,” the “notes of encouragement,” or the “offering to help” that amount to Kingdom work. Don’t get so overwhelmed with the big “payoff” that you forget the little “investments.”
10. Recovering from devastation is a long term process but worth the effort. It’s Thursday… 4 days from the initial flooding. As I look out over the West End I realize the life goes on after a flood. People are carrying on their everyday tasks. But, when I walk to the east side of the building I realize that the recovery process is definitely long term. It will be a while before Nashville finds it’s “normal.”
Kids Ministry is a long term process. We don’t just experience the “big things” (Camp, VBS, special events… floods) and move on. Building spiritual foundations in the lives of boys and girls is a long term process that requires a strategic plan which definitely includes the “big things” but is not just big things. Don’t forget discipleship! Don’t forget foundational Bible Study! Don’t forget missions! Don’t forget that Kids Ministry is not just the big events that bring in big crowds, but the developing of a life-long follower of Christ.
Bottom Line: Flooding and devastation are no fun; it’s been crazy! But even in the midst of crazy, God demonstrates His love and care. He continues to be faithful. His compassions fail not! He desires to be closer today than ever before. He is the God of the flood!