I am currently working on some leadership development for Children’s ministry, so I am getting to see a lot of interesting things. One of my favourite most recent discoveries is a TEDtalk from Rita Pierson.
Rita is a secular teacher, from a couple of generations of teachers. She has a lovely way about her and has so many great insights about working with kids. I felt that it had a lot of insights that could be transferred to how we teach kids about faith.
“Kids won’t learn from someone they don’t like!” Sometimes in kids ministry we can get so caught up in the task that we forget that the relationship is what is most important, sure it matters that they know the stories of faith or the language of Church and how it works but all of that is actually to help kids connect with a loving God, if they are not connecting with that loving God through what you are doing it might be time to evaluate.
“Teaching and learning should bring joy” The thing I love about kids is the liberty in which they experience joy.. Squeals of delight, uncontrolable laughter. Luke 7 :32 uses the image
32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not weep.’
So often we forget to be present with kids and that sharing the Good News of Jesus with them should bring liberation and joy to them too.
“Every child deserves a Champion.. an adult who never gives up on them, understands the power of connection and insist they become the best they can possibly be.” This for me is what the Christian community is called to be. A place that seeks to help all children be the best they can possibly be. You may not know but early in my career I worked with street kids in a rehab centre, they were aged between 16- 21. After a while of working in this environment, I became so frustrated that these young people would be in very different places if just one adult could have seen and invested in the potential of these children. When I took time to reflect on this I realised this was the call of the church, the call to share the good news with everyone, even children who can be seen as lost causes..
I found Rita’s talk inspiring and encouraging, I hope you do too. Maybe you could think about which children you are called to be the champion of!
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.