I was sifting through the inbox of Facebook when I stumbled upon a note of concern from a friend and pastor’s wife. On Sunday during church my youngest proclaimed that he, in fact, did not believe in Jesus. Out of concern from the volunteers and respect for me she wanted to let me know.
Most mom’s would immediately start questioning the faith of their children and doubting their parenting skills, wondering if the prayers mattered, wondering if the future would hold years of wandering of a Prodigal Son. I simply waited for Zac to get home to ask him, knowing the events that took place that Sunday morning.
With a wide smile and sparkling eyes, he simply replied that he did not remember if he made such a statement. After a few moments of pressing with a voice of knowing and eyes of mom-death he confessed. He couldn’t take the pressure. He was bored. He was hazing the volunteers.
Through a bit of laughter I kindly yet sternly explained to my rambunctious child that he could not test the volunteers in such a way. Growing up as a pastor’s kid of sorts, and now attending private Christian school, it is rather difficult for my child to be challenged theologically. In fact, I’m finding that some of our high school discussions on Wednesday night are actually more to his liking and his Christian education level. But regardless, Zac’s funny sense of humor most likely sent a group of well-intentioned volunteers to prayer circle praying over the soul of this lost little child who grows up in a Christian home.
It’s become quite the joke in our household. Our family knows this child and his crazy antics. Certainly this won’t be the worst trick he pulls at church. But in all seriousness, this is great training ground for volunteers.in children’s ministry.
1. Don’t assume a child knows Jesus. Regardless of how a child is raised, it is totally a working of the Holy Spirit of when and how a child comes to a relationship with Christ. I find that sometimes children know ABOUT Jesus but may not necessarily KNOW Jesus.
2. A parent’s faith is not a child’s faith. Everything we do in ministry is so that people, no matter the age, have a personal relationship with Jesus. My relationship with Christ doesn’t transfer into my kids life. It is something that must be cultivated individually, even by kids.
3. Don’t freak out if a child professes to not yet have a relationship with Jesus. Their spiritual growth and progress is not a personal reflection of your Kingdom work. Challenging, educating and loving kids is why you do what you do. Even if you never see the direct result of your hard work, just remember that God is in control and loves that child more than you do.
Working and serving kids is one of the hardest jobs in ministry, I could argue that point all day long. Pray for who you are ministering to, trusting who God is and his perfect plan for the life of every child.