Category Archives: Children’s Ministry

Sink or Float


Oh my today was a day…

I woke up at 6am and started towels to put on the line and washed the dishes and made my morning coffee, took the dog out, and while outside my husband pulled into the driveway home from the night shift. I started to grab my Bible and laptop and come outside with my coffee, but I came in with my husband and watched a DVR’d episode of Master Chef.

After he had fast forwarded through all the commercials and we got in touch with the termite bond man and found out he would not be here until after 3pm, my husband headed to the shower and bed. I then switched the tv to the christian music channel and opened my Bible and notebook.

It seemed to be a pretty good morning. The appraiser and the termite bond guy would not be here until after 3pm. I had spent some time with my husband and my God and now I woke my Shelby and began to clean the floors. The plan was to be at the church by 10am to get my work done so I could be home by 3pm after picking up my Bekah at 2:30pm.

I made it to the church by 11am and had spent another hour on my Wed night Zapped lesson and got several other things accomplished and was heading out the door by 2:15pm to pick up my Bekah and be home by 3pm.

About 3:01pm I pull in the driveway and the termite bond guy comes in not far behind me. So I yell for him to come in as I am putting some wildflowers I cut, out of the woods from the side of the road on the way home, in a vase for the dining room table (that you could actually find until the second we walked in the door from church tonight).

I leave the termite bond guy to my husband as I go on to make beds and put away clothes before the appraiser gets there to take pictures. By 3:50pm the termite bond guy is gone and now my husband finally manages to connect with me that the appraiser had already been there… thus the reason he was awake before I woke him at 3pm… so the appraisal pics were done without my made beds or beautiful wildflower bouquet.

By 4:15pm I am headed back to church because our internet is still non functioning and I still need to take care of some things before church services begin.

By 5:30 I realize I am going to have to take my Shelby to her youth pool party and so I mad dash her to the pool party and then mad dash myself and Bekah back to church to fight with the computer some more.

Yep that lesson plan I had worked on… finding and uploading just the right videos and pics… I can’t get it to work. Our youth minister who knows how to do all this stuff is at the pool party… so after fighting with this computer and tv for about 30 min… I have a room full of kids and by now I am fighting frustration tears…

I am swaying between anger and frustration and dissappointment and well it’s just not good. I am ready to either crawl under the floor or have a good ole fashion southern girl hissy-fit. Yet, all my babies are watching… and so is my Jesus. He has allowed this for some reason. So I breathe.

I kick into plan B and pull out the DVD’s and we wing it. I begin with prayer and let God and His Spirit get my priorities and purpose back in focus and after a little “Happy and You Know It” and and getting a little “Zapped” and then some “I Will Follow”, me on my own knees and watching these hearts on theirs… I take some more deep breathes and actually am ready to share the Bible lesson with these beautiful ones even without the picture slide show I had put together.

Fearing that this night’s lesson was going to be an epic fail, I finally realized that quite simply Satan just did not want someone in that room to here what God’s Word had to say tonight… so with determination the night went on… and tonight I had the privilege to share the truth and love of God with eternal souls, one on one with three children who came to me to share their struggles and fears.

So tonight I was reminded who was in control. I was reminded that I am dependant upon God’s power every second… I was reminded that I can’t let myself focus on all that’s going wrong. I can’t get caught up in fear and worry or frustration. Just like Peter had to keep his eyes on Christ when he stepped out of that boat to obey his Master’s command, I have to as well.

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand

and took hold of him, and said to him,

“You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:31

Not So Funny Dream


Last night was another crazy dream night. I have crazy dreams all the time… but usually they don’t hang with me after I wake up… but this one has.

I dreamed I was at a funeral. It was the funeral of a beautiful woman of God that has gone on to be with the LORD. I was there and the room was full. For some reason instead of her being in the casket, laying down, they decided to stand her like a mummy… to present her before the crowd.

The adults were all sitting quietly in their chairs and then over to the side were all the children and they were all wearing their Awana gear. Possibly they were there to sing. I am not sure.

The next thing I know, this woman who was dead is now alive, and she is speaking to us all sitting there. Now this woman, before her death, was known and respected as a wonderful godly woman.

She begins to speak and all ears are open, people grab notebooks and pens, and some even come and sit at her feet. Everyone waiting to hear just one more drop of wisdom and direction fall from her lips. Everyone had missed her so. Now here she is speaking to us once again.

I sit in awe… wondering if this is true.

Then she speaks.

At first it sounds like her. It sounds like her soft loving voice. I begin to listen and wonder if this is of God. Has He a message for us from her? Something just doesn’t feel right. Scripture is going around and around in my head as I try to Biblically okay what is going on at this moment.  I look around and see everyone so entranced and I feel utterly alone as I doubt this moment I am in. I listen for truth. I am watching and trying not to distract from whatever purpose this woman has…

Then something changes… the soft voice becomes harsh. She begins making demands and commands and expectations… everyone around me claps and does whatever she says.

My heart begins to pound and then I remember the children and I look over to them… watching this. All the adults around me are smiling, and clapping, and saying their amens.

Then this woman who in her life was a beautiful godly woman, who went to be with the LORD in her death, begins to speak venomous lies that are meant to infect hearts with ugly propaganda and hate and I recognize it as such. But I am alone… no one else seems to see. They all seem to heartily agree with whatever she speaks.

I look and the children… they are not clapping.

I stand and I look this woman in the eye and I know that it is not the woman I knew. The woman I knew is with her LORD. This is a thing of Satan in the shell of an image of my God.

I stand, yet no one notices but the thing in the shell.

I stand and l desire to rebuke but no words will come, but the children see me stand.

They stand with me.

They stand and they follow me out of the room… the thing in the shell keeps speaking venom and the adults in the room keep clapping… keep taking notes… they are hanging on the things every word, but I grab the children and I slowly walk out the room looking to see if anyone even notices… looking to see if anyone will follow.

They don’t.

I get the children to the safety of another room behind locked doors and my heart is pounding in my chest and in my ears…

Then I wake up.

As much as I would like to say this is only a dream… I know that it is not. Everyday the living dead speak lies and everyday the adults around them hang on their every word and applaud them because they choose to worship this shell instead of  Truth.

God has called me to rescue His children. He has called His church to rescue His children. To lead them out of the presence of the lies of the living dead into His room of safety.

I believe a day is coming that the LORD will no longer allow the rebuke. The deluding influence is coming… speaking lies and many will believe and cheer and applaud and be mesmerized. The lies will come from someone they first grew to love and respect… they will be sucked in… if they do not follow the truth.

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12  

The children of this day are watching… they are searching for who and what is real and right and true. If you were to stand without saying a word… would the children in the room know it was safe to follow you?

I pray that as God works in and through me that the children of this day, not just my own, but all those that God allows in my path, will know that it is safe to follow me. That they will know that I have always spoken truth to them before and I need not have to convince them that God’s way is true in fancy flowing words… but my actions had proven me and proven my God to them.


Kingdom Warriors


Last night we had the Awana awards ceremony for our children at Shiloh. I sit back and I look and I watch. I see the kids and I see the dedicated workers and I am overwhelmed with the wave of privilege that washes over me as I thank God that He has planted me and my family among these people that I love and respect so much.

I see in the eyes of the children pure joy (even through the fear in the eyes of some as they stand up in front of so many grown-up eyes) to be up on the stage sharing with the congregation the things they have learned about their God. I see in the eyes of the leaders absolute love and beaming pride as they share about the kids they have been allowed by God to make an eternal investment in.

I look at the leaders and I know that each one that stands there, stands there because they know they are on a mission from Christ Himself. The One who is King of kings and Lord of lords, the One who holds all dominion, power, and authority in His hand, this One, the very Son of the Creator God… has chosen to trust these little hearts to them. These that I looked at, as I stood among them, know this is Kingdom business and it is serious business.

I stand, trying to hold back tears, as I wonder if they realize what an honor it is to me to be able to stand among them. To know that I can wholeheartedly trust my children to them… there are very few that I allow that freedom over my girls… to just hand them over… and say “here you go, fill there heart, mind, and soul with whatever you got.”

My husband and I allow very few that freedom. We guard their hearts, mind, and soul with fierce determination that nothing will get by us on our watch. We stand with our swords raised and eyes always scanning the crowd for deception and trickery. We keep our senses alert and searching for that sneaky serpent, that prowling lion from hell, that one that wants to destroy our children and the future and hope that is promised them from God.

Yet here I stand, and I see men and women of God who stand guard with me, watching over my girls, and all these other children under their care. They stand with their own swords raised, ready to fight the evil one to the death if he dare attempt to steal even one of them away from their Good Shepherd.

These children stand up on stage and they sing their songs and they sign them as they sing. They stand and they quote and read Scripture, the very words of eternal life (John 6:68). They stand and they share the Biblical truths that resonated in their hearts and minds as they studied and listened to the Word of God taught them by these leaders, by these that they know love them… because they have been faithful and consistent to invest their own lives and time into them.

These children stand up on the stage and they are not just “oh, look they are so cute!”, they are warriors learning to use their weapon of the Word. They are soldiers learning to walk to the sound of the voice of their Commander. They are knights in training, learning to live a life of honor, able to recognize the lie from the truth, and learning how to respond to life with integrity and character.

May they not forsake what they have learned. May they continue to sharpen their swords and increase their own understanding. May they continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of God… and may those who have taught them thus far never grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9)… knowing that in due time they will see their Christ reap a mighty harvest.

I love the body of Christ. I love the place where God has planted me. I love those who serve with me. As fellow believers and servants of the Most High God we may have to get past a personality, past a method, past a difference of opinion, but that’s what Christ has called us to do (2 Corinthians 5:16). We are to look past the flesh and look to the intentions of the heart. If the heart is right, then the grace of God is more than sufficient to get past any fleshly conflicts.

I love those who have chosen to get down in the trenches with me. I love them with a godly, agape love, with the love of family. I love those that I have had the opportunity to invest my life into their life… no matter how far away they go… I am always with them and they are always with me. They will come to my mind and I will pray for them, and the same Spirit of God that is in me is in them and in this we are forever united. I do believe that this is what Christ meant when He prayed…

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

For their sakes I sanctify Myself,

that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

I do not ask on behalf of these alone,

but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

that they may be one, even as You, Father are in Me and I in You,

that they may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them,

that they may be one, just as We are One; I in them and You in Me,

that they may be perfected in unity,

so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them,

even as You have loved Me.

John 17:17-23


For the sake of these little ones I sanctify myself. I myself study the Word of God, the Word of Truth, to sanctify myself, to show myself approved. I do this for their sake… that they also might be sanctified, set apart, for the glory of God and that they might know that God loves them. As I love them through His love and give my life for them, the way Christ gave His life for me, these little hearts know that John 3:16 is not just a catch phrase. It’s not just a label under a football players eyes. It’s not just a sign held up at the goal post. It’s Life. It’s Truth.

God sent His Only Begotten Son to die for them that they might have eternal life… eternal life that begins the moment that they believe. Never ever doubt the power of your service to Him and His gospel. Never let the eyes play tricks on you and convince you that it is in vain. Run the race. Finish well. Leave a legacy of faith in your wake.

What Will Be Your Story


A good name is better than a good ointment,

and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.

Ecclesiastes 7:1


I read this today… this morning in my “quiet time”… and as I read, the power of this verse hit me in a special way.

As I was walking through Hobby Lobby this past weekend I saw a wall art sign that said “Every child is a story yet to be told”. I loved this quote, so I purchased the wall-art and placed it on the children’s information desk wall so that everyone who walked in would see it… and think about it.

I was raised fully aware that I was only as good as my name. My name was my word. My name carried with it my character… whether I liked it or not. I grew up proud to say that I was a Halbrooks, because my father’s name was good. It still is good. I also had a desire to keep that name good. I always knew and carried the weight of the times that I failed to do so… even when I didn’t realize that it mattered.

I have learned in life that there is no drug, no pill, no drink, no pleasure that can take away the pain or shame of a ruined or tarnished name. I truly believe, that deep down that could be the root cause of a lot of addictions and depressions… a ruined name. A name that when uttered by the givers of that name, brings disappointment to them. There are people in this world that when you hear their name you can think of nothing good… and there is no ointment to change that fact.

When that child who carried that name was born, their parents most likely named them with hope that they would be good-hearted, loving, kind individuals. They planned on them growing up, possibly had dreams for this bundle of joy in their arms to change the world one day. I can’t imagine any parent holding their child and looking in their innocent face and dreaming that they would become a meth addict, a rapist, a murderer, a drug dealer, an embezzler, a child sex trafficker, or a man that would have over 11 million people killed just because he could.

As the Children’s Ministry Director at our church I have the joy of being a part of a lot of bundles of joy. I no longer have just my own girls, but I have fifty other stories that I am now privileged to be a part of.

We celebrate the birth of these babies. Then every year after that we celebrate the day of that birth… yet God tells us that the day of our death is the greatest.

Here’s the thing I see…

The day of our death is the tell-tale. The story ends. The day of our birth is a story yet to be told. We are given a name. That name may come with bad connotations already attached to it because of our parents… or that name may come with high standards also because of our parents.

As we carry that name given at our birth, we carry all the things that come with it.

But here’s the offer that God gives us.


Death to this name that is given at our birth and an offer to carry His name in this new life in Him. Then when we leave this world we get a new name that is given by our Heavenly Father.

Maybe you have tarnished a name that was good when you got it or maybe you have lived under the condemnation of a name that was already tarnished. There is only One who can fix it. He offers His name in exchange for yours.

He wants to add you to His story.

And by adding you to His story, He changes your story. When He changes your story then you can end well. No matter how your story began, no matter how many twists and turns and chapters have been written, no matter how many horrors are recorded in your book… His book will pull it all together in the end. The day of your death will be better than the day of your birth and when the last chapter of your story is read and the book is closed… those left to read it will only be able to say “wow… what a story.”

A 10 Yr Old’s Interpretation of the Hunger Games


My ten year old had asked if she could read the Hunger Games. I mulled this over in my head a good bit and perked my ears up to hear what was being said about the book. After a little info investigation I decided to read the book myself and decide if it was something we could say “yes” to in her too quickly approaching pre- teenage life.

We have to say “no” to so many things in today’s culture.  I am always looking for something that we can say “yes” to, something that will teach our girls how to discern between what is allowed and what is beneficial and also how to take what is deemed “secular” and discover how all things can be and should be interpreted in the light of Scripture.

After reading the Hunger Games myself, we let Shelby read the book.

Then she received her book assignment…

We asked her to read Matthew 5-8 and compare and contrast the attitudes and mindset of those from each district that competed in the Hunger Games with the attitude and mindset that Christ teaches us to have and she needed to choose which character, if any, most represented the image of Christ.

I thought I would share her 10 year old insight into the characters of the Hunger Games as she looked at them through the lens of the Word of God…


Peeta- I find that Peeta is a character by God. For it seemed as if he was actually trying to live as Jesus had commanded, trying to live as I have been taught my whole life. Here is one of the verses that reminded me of Peeta. {If your right eye makes you stumble tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to loose one of the parts of the body, than for you whole body to go into hell.} (pg 1567)


Katniss- At the beginning of the book when I thought of Katniss I thought of the girl who was trying to keep her family alive. At the start of the games I thought of the girl who only thought about surviving. In chapter 18 when Rue dies until the end of the book I started to think of the girl who was no longer selfish of her own life, but of Peeta’s. She risked her life to save Peeta’s. All in all this is always how I thought of Katniss. {Do not worry then, saying, what will we eat? or what will we drink? or what will we wear for clothing?} (pg 1569) 


Gale- Gale was the kinda guy who loved his friends and would do anything for them and hated his enemies to the core. I remember in the very beginning of the book he and Katniss were a team. They split profits evenly so they could feed their families. Gale would be a great man of God… from what I heard (well read anyway) all he needed to do was this. {But I say to you, LOVE your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.} (pg 1567)


Rue- When I think of Rue I think of her and Peeta’s ways in God, how they are so similar. How Rue showed Katniss the trackerjacker nest in the tree, and how Peeta saved Katniss by fighting off Cato. Rue was the background type. While she was in the games Katniss never knew she was there until she looked right at her in the tree. This is what I thought Rue was like/lived by. {Do not judge so that you will be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.} (pg 1569)


Prim- I found Prim like Solomon how he did not worry about his outer appearance but, his inner. Unfortunately I won’t have much to say about Prim for she was not in there long enough to get much info about her but this is what I seemed to find in Prim. {So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day is enough trouble of its own.} (pg 1569)


Baker- I find the baker a giver. How he gave Katniss the girl trying to KILL his son cookies, how he promised not to let Prim starve. These are some things I feel the baker would NEVER do. {Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will give him a snake, will he?} (pg 1570)


Cato- When I heard about Cato, I thought of a mean green killing machine. All he thought about was killing and winning. I thought Cato was Satan in a book, Cato it seemed as if he was overcome with domestic violence. Cato lived the games the opposite of this verse… every one killed but he wanted to kill, not everyone WANTED to kill… now here is the verse. {You have heard that the ancients were told, YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER and whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.} (pg 1566)


Thresh- Thresh and Gale both loved their neighbor and hated his enemies, but Thresh’s reasons were a little different. He loved Rue because she was from his district. The only reason he let Katniss live was because she tried to save Rue. Otherwise I find him just like Cato. So here is a verse for Thresh and how he seemed to live. {You have heard that it was said, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.} (pg 1567 )


Haymitch- Haymitch broke one of the rules of God. Even though this rule was not in the Sermon on the Mount, I thought I should tell it to you. Let me tell you about Haymitch first. 1. He was crazy (except when he was sober) he was okay then. Well, I will go ahead and give you the verse. It is in Ephesians 5:18. {And do not get drunk on wine, (which Haymithch did alot) for that is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit.}


Effie- I found Effie charming and nice, but she was ungrateful. She was griping about drawing for district 12, SHE SHOULD BE HAPPY SHE IS NOT IN THAT DRAWING!!!! You see what I mean. I think this is how she thought of herself. {You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.}

~ Shelby Vaughn


Why yes, I am a proud Momma 🙂

My Morning Moment


This morning as I sat outside with my Savior I asked for His forgiveness. You see I haven’t sat outside with Him in the early morning hours since Easter morning. I have missed Him.

I watched a small patch of light in the cloudy morning sky as I wrote my prayer out to Him. My heart lifted in a song of praise and I longed for Him. As my heart sang, “Holy, holy, holy… Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy… merciful and mighty, God in three persons blessed Trinity…” I remembered a section I read in Francis Chan’s Crazy Love yesterday.

Francis asked a question in the book. He asked you to consider if you could have heaven, with no sickness, and all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?

I read that and when I read if Christ was not there” my heart stopped. No, no Christ? No Jesus? It’s not heaven without Him! And suddenly I realized that heaven is not a place… heaven is a Person. There is no heaven apart from Jesus. I would rather just cease to exist than to live for all eternity with no Christ.

He is the substance. Apart from Him all else is a mirage. It’s just empty and hollow and pointless. It all loses it’s flavor when you remove Christ… there is no satisfaction apart from being satisfied in and with Him. Oh how I love Him!

I watch the sky for Him ever day. I long for His return… I really do. I would be lying to you if I tried to downplay my desire for Him. There are days that I downright pine for Him, begging His return, or whispering my wish to hear Him call my name… to call me to Himself. Then I remember that I am already with Him because He is with me… always.

So I went outside to sit with Him and seek His face, to ask His forgiveness for these missed morning moments… and my Jesus whispered to my heart. I love His sweet confirmation of hearing my prayer.

You see for the past several years I have had three to four hours every morning to just spend with my God. I have coveted this time with Him. I have to admit that I have always been quite jealous for this time. I would be quite irritated with anyone or anything that would disrupt my mornings with my Savior.

Here lately, those mornings have been filled with planning events, planning nursery rotation, planning VBS, figuring out schedules, learning how to work new things. In all this I have feared that I would lose my intimacy with my God and become someone who just did church work.

So I went out this morning to sit before my God and ask for His forgiveness. I went out to ask for His protection against a cold, religious, heart. I don’t want to forsake Him for the sake of “ministry”. He must be first. If He is not first then I become a fake. I don’t want to be fake. I want to be true.

As I sat still before Him I listened for His whisper… As I sat I remembered the story of Joseph. I remembered the dream of Pharaoh and the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. I remembered how God had prepared the people for the season of famine because they were obedient to Joseph during the season of plenty.

I believe through this remembrance God assured me that I had been obedient to seek Him and build Him up and I had been faithful to fill the storehouses of my heart up with Him. He gave me those mornings to prepare me for this time, for this season. Now it is time for me to take what’s in my storehouses and use it.

I may not have those three to four hour mornings with Him but on rare occasions for a while… but He is the One that has moved me into this season. He is the One that has prepared me. He is the One that will keep me.

So now… I still sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy… merciful and mighty… God in three persons blessed Trinity”




Here comes the warning…

This is me.

I have all these letters printed and the envelopes sealed and stamped and addressed and just when I think I am done I realize that I have forgotten to personalize and sign every single one… so the redo comes in. How thankful I was for the not-so-good-at-sealing envelopes that I usually complain about for not sticking. So I re-open, personalize, sign, write in missing info, and tape envelopes shut.

This is me.

I am the mother that shows up to her child’s birthday party with the cake but forgets the knife to cut it with. I am the woman who thinks she has perfectly timed the crock-pot supper but didn’t realize she had to allot time for the crock-pot to heat up so her husband still goes to work without supper because it hasn’t finished cooking.

I am that person.

This is where I usually beat myself up the most. When you think you have thought of everything and then you realize that the main little thing that you needed to make it happen is missing. And all the hard work, thought, and effort, seems to just go out the window.

I am also that person that if I check it off in my head I think I have done it in reality, but really only planned to do it and then thought I had done it, but it actually never really got done.

Here falls condemnation in heaps upon my shoulders every time and the weight seems unbearable.

So as I enter into this children’s ministry director position and begin to walk through the life of it this is the fear that nags the back of my mind at all times… I will forget something or someone and it will devastate the ministry and let those I love down.

So please know that I will never be offended by the person who is organized with the checklist and asks “did you do…?” Because chances are always good that I forgot to do something. So I will always welcome the opportunity to go over the stuff to make sure all the stuff got done, all the t’s got crossed, and all the i’s got dotted.

So now I spend today trying to rest in the truth that God’s driving this life and I am just along for the ride doing what I can do simply because I love Him like crazy.


 I have been crucified with Christ;

and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20


Oh Me, The Stuff


Now that I have had my children’s ministry orientation meeting with my church family I have freedom to blog about this new journey that the Lord has set me out on… so be afraid… be very afraid. Muwahahaha!

Just kidding… kind of 🙂

I am currently in a time of disorientation as I find my way through the stuff that comes with serving in this ministry. Children’s ministry requires lots of stuff. It just does. You go to the youth ministry end of the church and their are a few big toys, maybe a pool table an xbox or wii set up somewhere, and then you go to the adult area and their are tables chairs and a coffee pot.

However you enter the wonderful world of children’s ministry and there are scooters, balls, jump ropes, hulu hoops, paints, markers, sand, posters, baby beds, strollers, bouncy things, bulletin board, huge styrofoam trees and rainbows, paper and paper and more paper, board games, puzzles, sippy cups, snacks, juice boxes… and the list goes on and on.

I have to find all this stuff and get it and keep it organized in a way that others can find the stuff…

And in the midst of all this there is scheduling nursery rotation, extended care rotation, Sunday night rotation,  Wednesday night rotation,  and keeping parents and servants in this ministry up to date with all of it.

And then there is scheduling the awesome fun stuff that is outside the Sunday and Wednesday routine.

And now here’s the big thing that is completely different about children’s ministry and the way it works… for them to hear the Word of God and let it take root all this stuff above must be taken care of first. These needs must be met. This is what I call preparing the soil for the seed.

All this stuff is what shows these kids that you care about them. This is how we meet them where they are…

For though I am free from all men,

I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews…

I have become all things to all men,

so that I may by all means save some.

1 Corinthians 9:19-20,22 

Likewise, to the child I must become a child, so that I can win children. I have to meet them where they are in order to bring them to Jesus. I can’t stand up on my high horse and yell down at them.

I must come down to them just as Christ came down to me…

                 and truthfully He had to come a whole lot farther down to reach me… He had to lift me up not just out of the pit of inherit sin, but I was in a pit of committed sins…  a very deep, dark, stanky pit. I know that what Christ washed off of me was a whole lot more repulsive than wiping a snotty nose or changing a dirty diaper or applying a band-aid to bleeding knee… or even digging through the disorganization of years of VBS storage.

So I embrace all the stuff and I embrace it with joy and with hope for the future… not just the immediate future but the eternal future of these kids, these hearts, these souls, these spirits that God allows to come through our church building’s doors. What a privilege it is to be trusted with them.