Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: Spurgeon Never Told Me There'd Be Spit-up
By Kenny Blade
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I have Children’s Church this month!
I’ll give you a minute. Go ahead and gasp. You might even throw in a few heartfelt pleas for my useless soul while you are at it. I just want you to know that I’m really not a bad guy. It’s not like I hate the kids or anything. I have several of my own, many of whom I really like.
Why then, you may be asking, did I volunteer to work in Children’s Church? If you have been a part of church more frequently than Easter services and the occasional church social that allows you to flaunt your considerable casserole skills, you are aware that working Children’s Church really only requires one qualification: You must have kids of your own.
That’s right. You don’t have to be “called”. You don’t have to be “gifted”. You don’t even have to be a good parent. You just have to have enough of a conscience to feel that twinge of guilt when you pick up your kids after services and see some poor adult curled up in the fetal position under a pile of colorful blocks reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Latin.
Before you go crossing me off the list of those you might bump into when you stroll those streets of gold someday, remember that you fall into one of two categories:
Those who have never worked in Children’s Church and those who know exactly what I am talking about.
Jesus said, “Suffer the little children.” He understood. Yes, I know I am taking it out of context. Maybe He was warning us in code. I don’t know. I just know that as much as I love children, I am lousy at leading a service designed with five year olds in mind. There are many reasons I know this to be true, but I’ll site just a few to bolster my position.
I can’t make Mother’s Day cards out of elbow macaroni, soup can labels and purple glitter.
I have injured myself doing the body motions to “Father Abraham” severely enough that therapy was required.
Vanilla Wafers and red Kool-Aid make me gag. (Additional note: Red Kool-Aid permanently stains air)
No matter how hard you try to convince me, two thread spools, a metal washer, four pipe cleaners and a handful of mini marshmallows do NOT look like John the Baptist.
My pastor says that when are seeking our place in the family of God, we should gravitate toward the things that energize us. I think that is true. There are lots of things that I participate in at my church that truly brings me joy. I have always felt that when you work for God that it really shouldn’t feel like work. Not in the traditional sense anyway.
That philosophy however, doesn’t line up with my duties in Children’s Church. I guess sometimes you can’t pick and choose your responsibilities when you are working in the Kingdom. If you could, I’m sure Paul would have stayed in more hotels and fewer jails.
So this Sunday I’ll put on my best (Scotch guarded) suit and I’ll head to Children’s Church. I’ll sing the songs. I’ll act out the part of the paralyzed guy at the pool. I’ll let the Johnsey’s kid, the one with the perpetually runny nose, sit in my lap. I’ll put a band-aid on Stacy Corley’s teddy bear with the eye missing that looks as if it were attacked and severely beaten by the seamier Muppets on Sesame Street. I’ll sacrifice another dress shirt on the altar of cherry Kool-Aid.
Who knows? Somewhere between getting Elmer’s glue out of the twins’ hair and getting the Portson’s kid to blow hard enough to get the bead dislodged from his nostril, I might be able to teach them a thing or two about how much Jesus loves them.
With any luck, they’ll remind me of the wonder of being tall enough to see a gumball come out of the machine at eye level. Maybe then they can teach me a thing or two about how Jesus loves me too.
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