Knowing the audience here, I know I am not alone in saying that teaching covenant children in the church is hands down one of the greatest joys we have in this life. As I sit at my desk and look at the wall where we display what we’ve been learning on Wednesday nights, it delights my heart to see the Attributes of God, the Wisdom of Proverbs, and the Big Picture of the Bible. Yet even as I look at these reminders, I doubt. Though it is clearly laid out in front of me that “God is gracious, God is merciful, God is loving, and God is sovereign,” I wrestle with myself that what I’m teaching is not enough. Digging more deeply, I suppose the struggle comes not in what I’m teaching but how—the inadequacy of the vessel. I know the Word of God is active and alive and that the Spirit of the Lord works and moves among our children, but what if how I’m showing them this truth is not enough?!
In 2021, I went through the CDM Certification program, and for the past two years I have been honored to be a part of Certification Plus. This season of learning from and growing with all involved in these courses has been such a joy and has been ministry-changing in many ways. The Lord has used discussions, readings, and workshops to grow my teaching toolbox, graciously providing me with plentiful “aha moments” that give me so much how for the what. There has been great joy in tweaking my own teaching style and then watching as the Lord does His work in His children.
“Ms. Missy, God is good even though bad things were happening to Jonah.”
I’ve been more vulnerable with them, because let’s face it, our kids are smart and they know when we are just saying stuff versus when we have experienced it ourselves. In those moments, I have watched the lightbulbs of wisdom go off when they can relate to also feeling angry enough to want to throw something or say unkind words to someone they love:
“Ms. Missy, remember when you said that you threw your phone because you got mad? What did you do when you got mad the next time? Did you still throw your phone, or did you pray first?”
I’ve been more patient and have invited them in—you know, the ones who are bouncing off the walls and are looking for the adult in the room to be the calm:
“Ms. Missy, I’m sorry I was acting wild. Thank you for letting me sit by you. Can I sit by you next week too?”
I’ve done a lot of repetition and am delighted by the sound of young voices reminding all of us in the room of our only Hope when I try to leave a story as a cliffhanger:
“Ms. Missy, you always say two of the most important words in the Bible are ‘But God’— this isn’t how the story ends!”
So often we hope for the “aha moment” in children’s ministry—that lightbulb moment when our covenant children get it, that big moment of brilliance shining brightly and eloquently. These past several years I’ve experienced that the “aha” first begins with me as I learn and grow with others, gaining new tools that help me meet children where they are. Joy abounds as I then wait, listen, and watch our covenant children experience their own “aha moments” as they recognize God’s great design for them.