The following post was written by our Awaken Kids Director, Nicole Smart
Let the Children Come….
I was asked to share my heart for ministry. It’s no secret that my heart beats for children’s ministry. It’s challenging to put into words something you can only experience. I serve in the kids ministry because of several reasons. The most compelling reason is Jesus. Jesus came to this Earth to live a perfect and sinless life, to die a death that I deserved; forsaken by God the Father because of my sin, was buried, and overcame death to rise 3 days later. Jesus did all that for me and asked for nothing in return. Simple awe inspiring grace. My desire is to for others to receive that gift of grace that Jesus offers all of us. My desire is for others, especially children, to know about Jesus.
Remember when I said it was challenging to put into words something you can only experience? Well, this is where I attempt to help you see what kids ministry is to me and why my heart beats for it……
Recently, one of our Awaken Kids, walked down the aisle of the church and stepped into the baptismal in his regular clothes. He professed Jesus as his savior and followed Him in baptism. This is a child who has been in our kids ministry for several years and I had been anticipating this very day. As tears ran down my face, my heart exploded with joy, not because of anything I did but because God had used his family and our kids ministry volunteers in a mighty way to change that child’s heart to follow Jesus.
In children’s ministry you don’t always get to see the ending to a child’s story. And I am totally content with that because I know that God allowed me to be a part of it and nothing God does is unimportant. We know the children in our kids ministry are future pastors, future worship leaders, future missionaries, and future believers. Kids ministry is where we lay the foundation for a Christ centered life. It’s where many children’s stories begin. Jesus has a special place in His heart for children. There is one of my favorite scripture verses where he demonstrates this. In Matthew 19:13-15 it says, “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.” This same scene is mentioned two more times in the Bible in Mark 10:13-16 and again in Luke 18:15-16. Jesus made it clear that children were very important to Him too. I am so honored that God has chosen me to teach the younger generation of the church about Him. My hope and prayer is for our kids ministry to be an example of Christ’s sacrifice, grace and love and that every time a child walks into one of our classrooms they see Jesus.