Children Picking Up Children:
One challenge came after Children’s church when parents would send older sibling (under age 12) to pick up their younger brothers and sisters. Frequently, the younger sibling would make a game out of trying to run away from the older one. Then the children would stand in the hallway and argue. Also, sometime the younger children would run through the hallway yelling at other children they knew. Because of this chaotic behavior, I began to require parents to come and pick up their children after Children’s church.
This decision probably made some of the parents unhappy but I knew I needed to stop the chaos and confusion of children picking up children before someone got hurt.
Consequently, if you work in Children’s ministry be aware that this scenario can happen. You may want to make a plan to deal with it beforehand.
Confusion in the Classroom:
One day, as I was leading the children’s church time, some confusion arose between a Christian brother and myself. This brother is a friend of mine and in leadership in the church. This brother and I had worked together in children’s ministry on several occasions. Today, he was helping me in Children’s church.
As the class worked through the lesson, some of the children kept asking me if they could do activities other than the ones I had planned for the day. I told them “no” because I had prepared fun activities for them and the activities they wanted would have required more preparation and getting supplies I did not have on hand.
When I told the children “no” they told me that this Christian brother said they could do what they wanted. I didn’t know if this was true or not, but I didn’t want to waste a bunch of lesson time trying to sort out this matter. Yet, the confusion kept coming up as the lesson continued. Because of the confusion and frustration, I told the brother I didn’t think he should help me in children’s church anymore. I explained that it seemed our “callings were conflicting with one another.” I intended to go back and explain better after service, but another situation came up and I forgot.
Some time later this brother came to me and asked about that day. I apologized and asked him to forgive me. Then I explained what happened, and told him that I knew we could probably work it out but I forgot in the midst of the chaos and confusion.
This Christian brother forgave me, and I am thankful for that. Because of this situation, I learned another lesson: when a church authority comes in to help in the classroom, make sure that the two of you are in agreement and know the lesson plan before the class begins. If you don’t, Satan may try to stir up confusion in order to ruin the relationships and cause division in the church.
When Satan succeeds in causing chaos and confusion, it renders all the people involved less effective in their Christian service because they are focused on the problems instead of the Lord and the task before them.
Scripture tells us, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” So if you’re faced with confusion in the classroom, stop and take time to work things out. It may save a lot of problems later on and spare someone from being hurt.
Too Soon We Grow Up!
During a session of Children’s church, an exuberant 12-year old girl was helping me with the children in Children’s church. This young woman enjoyed helping me, and I loved having her in class. However, one day a challenge arose with her choice of clothing.
This young lady, like her mother, enjoyed dressing up for church. Dressing up is a great thing, but her choice of clothing was very tight and revealed her figure, which was more like that of an adult woman. Yet she was bouncing around like a twelve-year old teen (which she was) and it caught the attention of the teenage boys that were also helping in class.
I noticed the teenage boys’ eyes continually following her around the room and watching as she helped the children. She unintentionally distracted them, but they were so distracted that they were not focusing and helping the children or me. Consequently, I knew something had to be done.
This young woman expressed that she would like to help more in class and I wanted her to participate. However, I knew the clothing issue needed to be addressed.
After speaking with the young lady’s grandmother, she told me to go to the mother. The mother was a little upset with me at first so I told her to take a serious look at her daughter and the choice of clothing, and she did. She finally did, and she admitted I was right.
After that day, the young woman was appropriately dressed. However, she is no longer in this area so I haven’t seen her for quite some time.
I learned a valuable lesson from this experience and want to encourage the parents of teenagers to step back and seriously look at their children. I bet they will realize the children are growing up sooner than expected!