Friday, March 8, 2013

The Sponge Effect: Children's Ministries Brunch

It's often said that "children are like sponges", describing their endless curiosity and naivety.  Have you ever stopped to consider the intricacies of what that really means?  Ponder these two questions:

Q: What happens to a dry sponge when it encounters moisture?
A:  The sponge absorbs all the moisture it can.

Q: What happens to an already saturated sponge when it encounters moisture?
A: The newly-introduced moisture just runs off the top because there is no room left in the sponge.

Now consider this. What happens to the kiddo who is sent to school as a dry sponge and is confronted with all kinds of philosophies, lifestyles, behaviours, temptations and the like?  Because there is nothing else taking up room in their mental and spiritual "sponge", they'll just absorb and assimilate all that new information into their life and worldview as if it were truth.

But what happens to the kiddo who is sent to school as a sponge that is saturated with the truths of God's Word,  a secure identity, and the knowledge that they are loved and precious?  When exposed to false doctrines or unholy ways of life, their inner "sponge" just lets it run off and those lies don't take root.  Do you get my drift?
This is why ministry to children is SO vital!  Our young people are not just the church of the future; they are the church TODAY and God is using them now as genuine missionaries and ministers among their friends, neighbours, teachers, coaches, families, etc. . .in a way that only a child can.

With that in mind, we hit the highway and headed down to Auckland in the early pre-dawn hours in order to host a children's ministries training brunch.
My goal for this brunch was threefold: 1) to foster a sense of unity among the Sunday School teachers and children's ministers of all the churches in our district, 2)  to assess the the needs on our district, and  3) identify the "movers and shakers" in our current children's programmes so that we could invest in leadership training.

It was a truly blessed time and I thank the Lord for helpful discussions, the sharing of ideas, powerful prayer and lots of fun.  Enjoy the photos from some of your brothers and sisters here in New Zealand. 

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