It’s Sunday morning, and for many of us, it’s the first Sunday of the new Sunday School year. Today always brings excitement for me: new kids, new teachers, and new hopes for a great new year. Happy New Year to all you wonderful, dedicated, and excited Bible study teachers!
Unfortunately, I’m not celebrating with my church today. As a matter of fact, I’m not even going to church today…
Some of you may know that in March my father was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukimia (AML). My parents live in the suburbs of Atlanta, I live in Nashville, and during June, July, August, and September I travel with work responsibilites quite a bit. Between travel for work, and travel to be with my parents… I’ve been absent from my church (First Baptist Church, Nashville) for the better part of the past four months. It’s been very difficult for me to be so sporatic in my attendance and considerably less connected to kids Bible study and the weekly ministry of my church. But, I realize the gift God has given me… and I’m thankful for every opportunity to be with my Dad. Every Sunday that I’m not at FBCN… I’ve prayed for the kids, the teachers, and the ministry leaders. But I still miss being there.
Dad’s not feeling well this morning, Mom wanted (really needed) to go to her Bible study class this morning… so I’m Dad sitting. It’s quiet, Dad’s resting, and I’m thinking about the 4th graders that I’ve been given the blessing to teach at my church. They had a great 3rd grade year and we’re so looking forward to continuing to build on the foundations that have already been set. God does so much in a child’s life during the 4th grade year. I’ve been praying this morning for the other teachers (Mrs. Terrel, Mrs. Valerie, Mr. Joe)… I prayed for the kids (I brought the roll with me so I wouldn’t miss anyone)…. I’ve even been praying for the parents (moving from 3rd to 4th grade is a big deal at my church… you leave the main level and go upstairs…). All I can do this morning from Atlanta is pray. I know I’m where I need to be, but I’m wishing I was celebrating a happy new year in 4th grade.
So, why do I share this today… because it occured to me this morning that in Kids Ministry we may have missed an opportunity to extend our ministry. I know that recruiting and enlisting can be overwhelming, but I think we have an opportunity to enlist an additional team of folks; folks who may not be able to physically serve, but would be more than willing to "prayerfully" serve. Friends who for various reasons are not able to physically attend, but would be honored to undergird the ministry through prayer.
I believe that prayer changes things… and I believe that prayer changes our ministries. There are plenty of people I know who would be thrilled to be plugged "back" in to active kids ministry, but are unable to attend or unable to physically handle a kids Bible study class yet desperately interested and concerned for our success.
Bottom Line: Who’s out there that needs to be actively involved in your ministry, but physically unable to attend?
I’m looking forward to identifying a few of these saints to serve along side of me in 4th grade Sunday School this year! I think it’s gonna change things!