A couple of years ago when I was directing Vacation Bible School, I came down with a horrible case of vertigo. If I moved too quickly, the room would spin like a top. I could barely function. Not a great situation when faced with a room full of energetic kids!
The vertigo, as it turns out, was stress-induced. I took on too much of the load, and my body registered its disapproval. I’m a Type A personality and tend towards “doing it all myself.” I’m prone to forget that the one-woman act isn’t required of me.
Sometimes, the same thing happens when sharing Jesus with the children in our lives. Those of us who serve in children’s ministry are passionate in our desire for kids to learn who Jesus is and what He has done for them.
If you’re like me, maybe those Type A tendencies start to bubble up. Am I doing enough? Am I explaining it well? Will they understand? These kids’ eternal futures depend on me! I cannot mess this up! Cue the vertigo.
Stop, take a deep breath, and consider this radical thought: YOU are not the key to a child’s eternal salvation.
That role is already filled by the Holy Spirit. He is active in your life and in the lives of the children you serve.
When you are stressing about what to say or worrying that you aren’t explaining the Gospel well, remember that this ministry is possible because of the power of Jesus’ life alive in you. As children learn who Jesus is, the Holy Spirit also works in their hearts to prompt a response.
The apostle Paul shared some wise words (italics are mine):
“We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 NLT).
Did you catch that? Imagine Paul was writing to you as a childrens’ ministry leader.
- God loves you and has chosen you to be His own.
- Because of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, your words have power!
- The Holy Spirit is also at work in others’ lives (ie, children in your ministry).
- When you model a life of following Jesus with joy, others will notice.
- When the Holy Spirit is working in your life, and the lives of your children, the message will make an impact.
With that in mind, here are three things you can do as you share the good news of Jesus with the children in your life.
Pray. Do this first, and often! Pray to be filled with the Spirit, that He will use you and your words, and will work in the hearts of the children in your care. God is faithful to complete the good work He has already started in you (Philippians 1:6 NLT)!
Be present. Paul’s friends knew they were loved because of his example when he was with them. Model to your kids what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Let them see you pray and read the Bible. Show them you care about their lives and interests. As you build relationships, you earn the right to be heard.
Prepare. As you rest in the work of the Holy Spirit, this is where responsibility lies. With preparation, you can feel confident in your ability to explain the Gospel. 1 Peter 3:15-16a tells us “worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (NLT).
The Holy Spirit is alive and active. Get ready to see Him work through you—and your kids! We “pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NLT).
Kelly Rempel is the Director of Creative Communications for One Hope Canada.