True love is unconditional. Jesus calls us to love one another and to serve one another. In Kids Ministry (or any ministry!), it’s vitally important to make sure we break away from thinking like the world and are transformed.
Do you ever think about what businesses mean when they say, We love our customers?
I was watching a documentary about a very successful business last week. It was a huge global brand and, in a matter of minutes, they went from talking about how they love their customers to how they love their product to how they can\’t stand their competition. I\’m not sure the word hate was used; but, it was certainly implied. Sadly, I’ve seen Christian businesses and churches act the exact same way.
As people, we have a natural tendency to be drawn to those who are like us. It is a natural emotion to love what is loyal and to care about those who are nearest to us. In business, this often translates to sales. Loyal customers buy more products and drive businesses forward. Is it any wonder why a huge global brand wouldn\’t love their people? It is their source of income and puts bread on the table for them and their employees.
Have you ever fallen into this way of thinking with your ministry?
This loyal love feels natural but it isn\’t really love, at least, not in the way Christ demonstrated. His love was unconditional.
Do you love the people at your church more than the ones you pass on the street? How about the people going to the church two blocks down the road? Do you love them?
Here are three questions you can ask yourself to examine your heart to see if you\’ve put love for sale in your community:
1. How often do you pray for the other churches in your community?
If you pray for them often then you probably have the right spirit about growing God’s Kingdom and not your own … unless, of course, you are praying they would just go away or come to your church instead.
2. Are you more likely to do something for someone who will repay you?
Sociologist have spent a lot of time studying the art of gift-giving and have found it is rarely as altruistic as we think. If you are as generous with people you know as you are with people you will never see again, then your generosity will communicate love — even if all you are giving away is a smile.
3. Do you seek the approval of others?
Approval can be a trap which leads to inward and selfish thinking. If you are willing to have hard conversations, regardless of the pain and potential outcome, you are showing true love.
Love is for sale all over the world; it should not be in the Church. True love is unconditional. Let’s live it out.
Michael Chanley is an ordained minister with over 16 years experience serving families and children. His most recent roles have been as Executive Director of the International Network of Children’s Ministry and as the Parenting Minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Michael’s vision to serve those called to children’s ministry led him to create www.cmconnect.org — the free kidmin network. Now, with over 11,400 members in over 85 countries, CMConnect is the premier children’s ministry community.