This summer I have had lots of time for growing, in maturity as well as spiritually. I was able to attend a 5 day camp with the children at my church. We, along with other Baptist churches from the area attended kids camp at Camp Copass up in Denton. It was definitely a week of challenges, as well as a week of growing and stretching and discomfort.
Not only was I able to serve all the children in my care, but I was able to serve and minister to my fellow counselors. Each of us brought to camp our own baggage and frustrations, for me, it was missing a full work week without pay. (My employer made the decision to cut our PTO for part time employees. This means that I no longer accrue paid time off). For others they brought family drama and baggage or relationship baggage. And there is no telling what each child brought with them.
Everyday was challenging. I was uncomfortable. There were things that happened/conversations/situations that I’ve never had to deal with in all of my years. But, there were also things that I have had to deal with before, so it was easy to give counsel to those situations. Without God, I would’ve been a mess. Trying to deliver each child to their respective activity/location, also trying to juggle my kids, but also the kids who were a part of other churches. There were definitely challenges.
Amidst all of the challenges and the drama. God was working. He was working in my life and He was working in everyone’s lives. There were 3 things that really made the week worth all the struggles and challenges.
First, the children (not just my children but all the children) who accepted and rededicated their lives to the Lord. What a joyous time of celebration is to be had overtime someone makes the decision to follow God.
Second, being able to pour into the lives of the children and the leaders alike. There where times I would be correcting a child on anger and how to handle when we are angry and how to forgive and how forgiveness should be constant and ongoing, in these times as I was teaching the children, I was being taught and my heart would be softened by the Lord.
The last thing that made my week so worth it was getting to watch and experience faith like a child. Never in my life have I had the opportunity to see so many children from all walks and different churches, walk/run go to the alter without being told. Without be urged by adults or parents. The children went to the alter and poured their hearts out. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Children praying for and with other children that they may, or may not have known before.
It is easy to get caught up in ourselves, but camp was a wonderful time to watch and observe children and receive a better understand of what its like to have faith like a child. Jesus says in Matthew 18:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:1-6).”
Children are teachable. They crave attention and love. They are moldable and they can be shaped. It is a beautiful thing being able to serve a child. To tach and plant seeds of faith into children. If you have never served indoor children’s ministry, I strongly recommend that everyone gives it a chance every now and again. Many children have lived hard lives. They have had to grow up much sooner than they should’ve. I am always reminded of Matthew 25 in the teaching of the least of these. When I am reminded of serving the least and being a servant leader of several passages in Scripture, but especially John 13. Jesus made Himself the least, the servant, and He washed the disciples feet.
I pray that in all of aspects of my life that I may be a servant leader, that I may make myself less and Jesus more. Put other’s wellbeing and their needs above my own.
How can I make myself less, so that He may be glorified more?