Most folks know that the soil of the human heart is most fertile when a person is, well, a kid. Even before I responded to God’s call on my life to serve in children’s ministry, I always felt like churches should pour twice as many resources and energy into kids ministry. (Have you read Part 1 of this post?)
All you have to do is peruse virtually every segment of Scripture and see that God takes people out of the “normal” flow and churn of life to someplace that is “remote.” Moses literally experienced transformation on the mountain-top. Many scholars believe that Moses’ experience is the origin of the phrase “mountain-top experience.”
Jesus demonstrated (regularly) that getting away from the crowd and spending that one-on-one time with God is critical.
I gave my life to Jesus Christ at a camp in the mountains of North Carolina. There is something about taking kids away so that they can experience something that is far-removed from their “normal” ebb and flow. Camp is a great place to meet the Creator. VBS is another chance to take kids away from the “regular stuff” and give them great mountain-top experiences. They are so worth it! Yes, it’s hard to get volunteers. Yes, its possible for our “out-reach” events to become “in-reach” events, but they are worth it.
Mountain-top experiences provide the perfect container for the soil of a kids heart.
Here are three cautions.
First, don’t allow mountain-top experiences to be the ONLY place where dynamic life-change takes place. You should put equal energy into your week-to-week ministries. You should consistently present the gospel. Don’t wait until your curriculum tells you to. In fact, if your curriculum doesn’t tell you to on a regular basis, you should change curriculum.
Second, engage the family in the journey. Mountain-tops are designed to launch. It’s the beginning of a journey. It’s not THE journey. Make sure that every kid’s family is on that journey with them.
Finally, mix up those experiences from year to year. Try different locations. Try doing VBS at night or on the weekend or over Spring or Fall break.
Water and feed well!
Have you read: Why Wouldn’t You Do This? (Part 1)?
Jeffrey Reed serves as the Director of Kids Ministry for Lifeway. He came to Lifeway with a wide variety of ministry experiences including worship leader, director of children’s ministry, and executive leadership in several growing congregations. Jeffrey’s posts will give your heart and brain a workout, just like the fitness Boot Camp he leads in the mornings for Lifeway employees. Jeffrey and his wife Katherine have four kids.