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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: Spurgeon Never Told Me There'd Be Spit-up
By Kenny Blade
07/31/06


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I struggled to muster a smile as I read the list posted on the bulletin board. There it was in black and white. The thing I dreaded more than shaving by candlelight with a rusty sheetrock knife had made its way back into my life:

I have Childrenís Church this month!

Iíll 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 Iím really not a bad guy. Itís 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 Childrenís 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 Childrenís Church really only requires one qualification: You must have kids of your own.

Thatís right. You donít have to be ďcalledĒ. You donít have to be ďgiftedĒ. You donít 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 Lordís 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 Childrenís Church and those who know exactly what I am talking about.

Jesus said, ďSuffer the little children.Ē He understood. Yes, I know I am taking it out of context. Maybe He was warning us in code. I donít 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 Iíll site just a few to bolster my position.

I canít make Motherís Day cards out of elbow macaroni, soup can labels and purple glitter.
I have injured myself doing the body motions to ďFather AbrahamĒ 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 shouldnít feel like work. Not in the traditional sense anyway.

That philosophy however, doesnít line up with my duties in Childrenís Church. I guess sometimes you canít pick and choose your responsibilities when you are working in the Kingdom. If you could, Iím sure Paul would have stayed in more hotels and fewer jails.

So this Sunday Iíll put on my best (Scotch guarded) suit and Iíll head to Childrenís Church. Iíll sing the songs. Iíll act out the part of the paralyzed guy at the pool. Iíll let the Johnseyís kid, the one with the perpetually runny nose, sit in my lap. Iíll put a band-aid on Stacy Corleyís teddy bear with the eye missing that looks as if it were attacked and severely beaten by the seamier Muppets on Sesame Street. Iíll sacrifice another dress shirt on the altar of cherry Kool-Aid.

Who knows? Somewhere between getting Elmerís glue out of the twinsí hair and getting the Portsonís 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, theyíll 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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This article has been read 1065 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan08/03/06
Hahaha, thanks for the laugh, and I love your title!!
Melanie Kerr 08/04/06
Been there, read the book, seen the film and got the T-shirt! (And I donít even have kids!)
Lance Wilson, Sr.08/05/06
How delightfully ironic it is that there is someone else in the same situation that i have been in. It was descovered early on in my walk that I had a "way" with children and was soon designated to be lead Children's Chruch, I have lost count of how many time I have done it over the past 11 years that I have been saved. you have my deepest respect. I loved the piece, It is well written and humorous and contains a loving message.
Stay encoruaged, God Bless
Marilee Alvey08/05/06
Well done! There's nothing quite like humor in this world, and you are a very capable writer! It cracked me up, and being cracked up already, that's not so easy to do! It was a thoroughly enjoyable read!
Jen Davis08/05/06
A fun story which kept me smiling all the way through. Lots of funny stuff here: "I have several of my own..." "No matter how hard you try to convince me..." Thanks for sharing. This was very well done.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/06/06
Oh, I love it - two funny pieces in a row on the list! This was great - several hilarious lines that made me laugh out loud (one of which was, "I have several (children) of my own, many of whom I really like.") This piece probably strikes a chord with me because I worked in children's church for a while. It is definitely NOT my calling, which didn't take me long to figure out. I ended up quitting but am so glad there are so many like you who still press on. There really is nothing greater than ministering to the future generation. Well done!
Marilyn Schnepp 08/07/06
I loved you thinking that Jesus' saying "Suffer little children to come unto me"...was a coded message or perhaps a warning; Very, very good! Great stuff here; enjoyable, enlightening and educational. Double Kudos!
Amy Nicholson08/07/06
Light and funny and I'm still smiling! Thank you!
Kevin Kindrick08/07/06
This was just great. You had me laughing out loud. I especially appreciate it as a children's pastor. I know how it feels to "suffer the little children" - and I also know the joy that those same little ones can bring.
My undying philosophy is "you're doing something right if you're completely exhausted and laughing hysterically."
Thanks for sharing.

God bless,

Kevin
Helen Paynter08/10/06
This is great, Kenny. I laughed from beginning to end. COngratulations
Glenn A. Hascall08/10/06
This is outstanding humor, Kenny. You asked if it would place or if people were opposed to humor - thankfully you found your answer - and perhaps you have passed along inspiration for more humorour submission. Brilliantly done. (Still laughing) -- Glenn
Shari Armstrong 08/10/06
LOL -(oh and for future refernce) they make color free KoolAid now -it's a mom's (or Children's Church leaders') best friend :)
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/10/06
Haha! When I was a teen I worked in the 2s and 3s quite often. I know allll about it. ;-)
Marty Wellington 08/10/06
Wow. This was terrific. I can truly relate to this fun piece. Congratulations on a great win!
Sue Dent08/10/06
Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you. So let's all praise the Lord![right arm] Owwwwwww . . . Wow, I haven't hurt myself doing that one in a long time. LOL
terri tiffany08/12/06
Wow this is so true and funny! great job - great writing! Congrats on your win!!
Jessica Schmit08/12/06
Just wanted to leave my congrats. One of your best in my opinion.
Betsy Markman08/12/06
Absolutely wonderful from the very first words (and that includes the inspired title)! It's nice to be able to laugh aloud at so many well-turned phrases, to nod with complete understanding, and to feel touched by a meaningful message. To get all of that from one entry is truly remarkable. Well done!