BY BROOKE CARNES, DIRECTOR OF SMALL GROUPS (2ND-5TH GRADE - 146TH STREET)
Working in Children’s Ministry is such a gift. There are obvious reasons why – leading kids to Christ, singing and dancing with total abandon, the look on their faces when they understand a Biblical concept, getting to do crafts as part of the workday, hello dream job! The gift of a visual reminder to have child-like faith, to love others with a purity and authenticity that comes naturally at a young age and to be able say how we feel to someone we trust without worrying if we will still be loved. The gift of being able to walk alongside a child and their family as they navigate the ups and downs of life.
It’s a sad realization that the 6 broken places of the world impact everyone, of all ages. There are families in our church who are experiencing pain, isolation, separation, hatred, injustice and even decay. As much as we hope that kids do not see this, the reality is that they do. I know a third grade boy who has PTSD and has had to grow up too fast because of brokenness in his family. As I talked with him and his Grandma this past weekend, I heard God whisper to me, “this is one of those gifts.” A child opening up his heart, trusting us as a church to walk alongside of him and to be able to pray for him – is a gift!
Last Sunday, I watched a second grade girl who was at Grace for the first time build an instant friendship with another girl from her small group and was blown away by how effortless it was. They met, held hands during prayer, sat arm in arm and just enjoyed their new friendship. It was simple, beautiful and natural. An incredible reminder that having people to do life with at all ages is a gift and there are always new opportunities to build new friendships. It doesn’t need to be hard or forced, God created us to be in relationship. All we need to do is be present and pay attention and be ourselves.
The entire Grace Kids team knows how special it is to be a part of a family’s first impression at Grace. We have roughly 700 kids every weekend, so creating this space to build the foundation of a new relationship is so important to each of us. Of all of the churches in the area that a family could’ve chosen and they chose Grace is a gift not to be ignored. We know why we love Grace, but we want them to learn to love Grace too! Serving in Children’s Ministry is full of amazing gifts and one of our absolute favorites is that we are a part of building a community, from the earliest of ages. Our families, your kids and the hundreds of people who serve in our ministry, you are each a gift from God to us and all of Grace.
If you are new to Grace and have not had the opportunity to meet the Grace Kids team, please let us know by contacting email@example.com.
If you are struggling with building your community, please know that you are a part of ours. If you need help getting plugged in, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or completing this form.
If you or your family are feeling the hurt of one of the Six Broken Places, please let us know how we can best love you and walk alongside of you. Get more details at gracechurch.us/care.
Share what impact Grace Kids, a leader, or a staff member has had on you and/or your kids below in the comments!