I have a dream that I haven’t shared with very many people, except a few close friends and my husband. Someday I want to go to churches that have very limited resources and help them with children’s ministry training. This could be overseas or it could be at small churches in the US. I don’t know which one.
Right from the get-go when I started doing the children’s ministry at my church, I knew I wouldn’t be there forever. It’s not a career. I am not going to wait around until they can afford to hire a children’s minister. That just is not for me and it seemed to me that God was telling me that this is my preparation time. I need to get our children’s ministry running smoothly and efficiently, learn how to work with volunteers, test and experiment, and get ready for whatever it is that He has in store for me.
I know there are many places around the world where children’s ministry is not a priority. Maybe the adults are struggling just to maintain “grown-up” church, and they don’t have the resources to run a children’s program. Maybe the concept of children’s church has not been explored in any depth at all. I heard from my mother-in-law that their church in Nigeria had a less-than-ideal set-up for the kids. I’m not blaming anyone or saying that’s bad. Sometimes things are less than ideal because we simply don’t know what to do or how to fix the situation. Maybe the project seems so big that it paralyzes us.
I want children’s ministers in poor communities or inaccessible locations to have a chance at training. I want them to have resources at their fingertips that they can put to good use, and that fit their culture and circumstances. Simply taking our Western curriculum and sending it overseas won’t work. A different trail will have to be blazed.
There are war-torn areas, such as Uganda, where many of the children have never had a chance at what we consider a normal life, let alone learning about God in Sunday School. Where do you start with kids who have seen truly atrocious things at such a young age? How do you equip leaders to minister to the kids when they themselves are hurting? These are questions I ask myself.