Dean Kuest – Glendale Campus Pastor
I just spent an evening at Central leading a team of 1st through 3rd graders for the first night of Extreme Week. In the past, I have taught from the stage at Extreme Week and I have helped with the games and such, so I understand that this has always been a “Big Deal” for us…I know that in my head. There will be over 1,000 kids from all walks of life on our campuses this week, being exposed to extreme fun as well as solid Bible teaching. But it was who I met tonight that moved that understanding from my head to my heart and made it all the more important to me.
Over the course of a single evening, the kids in my group were an open book. Here are a few glimpses into the lives of 1st through 3rd graders that I met (with names changed).
- “Josh” – During our small group time he told me that he doesn’t have a Daddy or a Mommy, but he does have two sisters.
- “Rudy” – Lives with his single Grandpa because he was removed from his parent’s home because of drugs.
- “Tony” – I helped him memorize his memory verse for the night and I said, “You are really smart!” and his chin went straight to his chest and he said, “No, I’m not.”
- “David” – Told us that his brother survived a life threatening accident and is now trying to learn how to walk again.
- “Ronnie” – Is living with an uncle because he was removed from his home and didn’t want to live with strangers.
After meeting my new friends, I’m asking myself, “Is there anything more important than what we are doing in our Children’s Ministry? “ Everyone in my group was eager to hear the story from the Bible. Every kid was eager to learn their memory verses and every child could tell me the “Big Idea” of our story. Tonight’s “Big Idea”? Trust God.
Here is where the 2X4 hits my forehead. Perhaps God’s care for each of those kids is the very fact that they were sitting in my group. Perhaps I am a part of God’s answer to someone’s prayers that He would watch over them and lead them and guide them.
Here is a question for you. “Are you giving your life to anything more important than what we are doing in our Children’s Ministry?” Perhaps God wants to use you to be the answer to some child’s prayers as they learn to “Trust God”. Why don’t you join us and become a mentor or “Big Brother/Sister” to a child who is experiencing far more of the brokenness of this world than I will ever understand. This is not about guilt or sad stories. Instead, it is about a vision for making an eternal difference in kid’s lives…and that is something that should motivate each of us.