Have you noticed that the number one question parents ask their children these days is "Did you have fun?" Whether they are picking them up from church, school, or soccer practice, the question seems to be focused on fun. Now I know parents are very interested in what their children are learning, but fun is where they start the conversation.
So, with our culture's attention on fun, how are we doing in our ministries? Some consider fun to be frivolous mindless activity that has little or no place in God's house of worship. Admittedly, there is very little in the Bible written about fun. There is however a lot written about joy.
In Luke 19:6 (NLT), after Jesus invited himself over to Zacchaeus' house, it says, "Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy." We know that Zacchaeus was materially rich, but relationally poor. Even back then money could not buy happiness. When Jesus steps into Zacchaeus' life, so does excitement and joy! Many of today's kids have lots of toys and gadgets, but are still in need of rich relationships. For this reason, our children's ministries should be places of great excitement and joy! We must focus on using fun as a means to connect with today's children and then introduce them to Jesus.
Paul, who knows a thing or two about evangelism, wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NLT), "I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some." So, let's have fun - lots of fun - so much fun that we can't wait for the weekend! Who knows, we might even find it easier to recruit others to minister alongside us.
BTW...every one of Tadpole Tails' products contain many elements of pure fun!
Children’s ministry is tough! In my biased opinion, it is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. We are expected to perform as a counselor, teacher, peacemaker, recruiter, entertainer, and janitor for as long as the pastor decides to preach. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes struggle between serving God with excellence and simply trying to survive another crazy weekend. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NLT) says, “Whatever you do, do well.”
I know that our God deserves nothing less than our best, so how should we respond to the crazy reality of ministry? When I began ministering at a small church plant 14 years ago, I worked as hard as humanly possible to achieve ministry excellence. Each Sunday I would drive away reflecting on all that went wrong and all that need to improve. Today I still strive for continuous improvement, but I also take into consideration Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:30 (NLT) which say, “My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
These life-giving words tell me that the One that I serve is good and His love for me is great. Sometimes we can get so busy serving Jesus that we forget that we are meant to serve with Jesus. It is critical that we all stay yoked to Jesus. Only then will we understand that excellence in ministry is not really about excellent performances. Jesus focused on people. Nowadays, when I look back at the crazy weekend, I reflect on my encounters with people. If I ministered faithfully and did my very best with the resources God gave me, I consider that excellent.