Recently we received a link called Alarm Clock with an intriguing comment: ‘Be careful during sleeping!’
Enjoy watching it; you’ll get the point very quickly. It’s quite short so you’ll wise up promptly amid some laughing. It’s very creatively funny and led us to share the following.
For many years we’ve heard Christians complain of too much hype in churches, extensive showiness, excessive entertaining but no any real biblical teaching or Holy Spirit presence.
The reality is twofold: We doneed the presence of the miracle working Spirit and ministers and departmental leaders need to be with-it in respect of preaching and teaching. Leaders must be awake to what is really going on and not be expecting congregations, especially children to understand deep matters, that it’s the ministers’ calling to study, search out and make plain in meaningful, creative ways.
This is particularly so in children’s ministry. Kids today are so engrossed with incredible, ever-developing technology – computers, games, iPods, tablets and such. We need to capture their imagination! And to ensure that they really know God and his ways requires that we are open to every available attention-grabbing means of reaching them.
Early days of personal creativity
My (Robert) own ministry really began decades ago in what our church called Junior Prayer/Bible Study Nights. My development led to spending most nights away travelling elsewhere around various little rented halls. The purpose was to share Jesus with hundreds of unchurched kids that parents ‘were delighted to have out of home for a while.’
But, willing as I was, there was neither financial support nor, more especially, available good material. I resorted to creating my own stories and drawing coloured pictures of characters in action. No computers back then, never mind PowerPoint facilities. I longed for creative material.
How times have changed!
Ample materials today
Today many creative children’s leaders are led by the Spirit to boldly present Jesus to kids using whatever means are available. To encourage kids to know the word of God, to stand on it and also to know the Holy Spirit and move in the gifts.
Wise ministries encourage other leaders of kids’ ministries to be similarly creative. After all, the God we serve is the all-creative one but for too long churches have put up with second best or little creativity while all the time kids are mesmerised and engrossed daily in their techno world.
Absence of quality material was a challenge Maureen’s sister and her husband, Dorothy and Ken Gardiner, Life4Kids (firstname.lastname@example.org) actively pursued for years, creating great teaching material, especially their outstanding, unique High Five Divorce for Kids Program.
Similarly our good friend, Becky Fisher, Kids in Ministry International email@example.com has worked creatively and apostolically among even unchurched children, seeing them anointed in the Spirit and then moving in the gifts.
God is moving on and through children today and wise leaders are locating or creating great material to teach kids principles from his word.
Imagine our delight recently one Sunday, when free from our itinerant ministry and able to attend our base church, Waterfront Christian Church, Geelong we observed the children’s ministry leader, Robyn Heyhorn, introduce two ‘team members.’
Robyn announced, ‘We teach the children how to hear God’s voice and know it above all others. They need to hear from God for themselves. These are exciting times and we’re teaching our kids how to pray for victory in their lives. We ensure the children really know that he wants to speak to them and that they can expect he will. And he does – and then they share what God said to them or maybe a picture he has given.’
Then up to the platform came a recognisable figure, not unlike little like the famous Inspector Clouseau. As you can imagine, the kids were thrilled – and so were we adults!
Robyn explained, ‘Detective McClureis a great detective so grounded in the word of God that his desire is to teach children to be seekers of the truth and, in looking for solutions, will keep pointing them back to God’s word.’
As the kids looked on intrigued she added, ‘Detective McClure will also reinforce that the Bible has the ability to solve every problem. He’ll help equip you to stand on the word. He’ll come into Kids’ Church unexpectedly and unannounced, interacting with you all with “Why?” questions.’
A right ‘Wally’!
Suddenly up popped a most mischievous black sheep raising laughter as he fooled around a bit.
Robyn told everyone: ‘Although Wally can be a bit naughty and make the children laugh, being open to instruction he can also teach them respect and how to adopt a learning style. They’ll learn and grow alongside Wally as he’ll have understanding at the same level as theirs.’
All kids love intrigue, being inquisitive, fun and laughter. Thus ingenious creativity such as Detective McClure and Wally are welcome additions to any kids’ ministry team.
Aware how important children’s ministry is in every church, we encourage every children’s ministry leader to prayerfully consider using whatever other up-to-date intriguing facilities God leads them to that will ensure our kids grow in God.
And…getting back to the alarm clock: Let’s not get cut out sleeping! We all need to be aware of what’s going down today and where adults are at, let alone kids. Preachers too must be down-to-earth as we present biblical truths to people who have never been to church as well as to church attenders.