The following entry is from our dear Children's Ministries intern, Katy Buckner, as she reflects back on her summer spent with the kids at CCP.
They say you learn a lot from kids.
They say you learn a lot from kids.
Well, I am a true witness to that.
Ironically, when I was supposed to be a “leader”, I often felt like the kids were leading me. Their innocence, their obedience, and their discipline taught me more about being a follower of Jesus than any lesson or sermon ever could.
I was not raised going to church every Sunday with my family. We went occasionally, on holidays for the most part, to my grandfather’s Baptist church. Back then, church for me was an old people thing, and I always felt intimidated by the “regular” kids who came every Sunday. The kids who knew all of the answers and stories of the Bible. I figured they were always better than me because I did not grow up in church and did not attend regularly.
This summer, Elizabeth and I led a bible study with fourth and fifth graders. We met every week and went over the chapter we were supposed to read for that week. The book had daily devotionals for 28 days, that we talked and discussed together each week. My younger self would have referred to these kids as the “regulars”. The ones who were forced to go to church by their parents, the ones who grew up in the church, the ones who knew all of the answers and bible stories. My initial thought helping lead this bible study was, “These kids probably know more about Jesus and the Bible than I do, so I’m not going to have anything to offer”.
I know, it is a silly thought to have, but it was real.
I had experienced the love of God before and Jesus was in my heart, but did I know the Bible enough? Oh no, I certainly did not. Did you know Jesus had a brother? Because I did not prior to this summer. Anyway, my fear was that I would not be able to teach well.
I learned that actions speak louder than words. You can know all of the factual answers, but a real relationship with God is more important than that. I am a relational person, so it was easy for me to understand having a relationship with Christ. A lot of kids who have grown up in Church know all of the answers, but they struggle with the relationship part. There’s a disconnect in the head knowledge and the heart application. One thing I learned for myself was that I could teach kids the love of God just by the way I carried myself and loved others.
Things began to shift by the end of my Senior year. I made a lot of people angry and frustrated, I argued with my family more than ever, and I hid things from people I loved. I would still attend church amidst all of the tension and guilt I felt, but would ask myself who am I? I was coming home late at night then getting up the next morning to help lead kids to Jesus? How could God be using me to help out at this church when I have nothing to give Him?
I mean, I was definitely not leading by example.
I had a major change of heart this summer, and that is when I really started to “get it”. Whatever I had, even if it was nothing at all, God would use it; I just had to be humble and willing to give it all to Him.
God will work with whatever you give Him.
Being uncomfortable was an important key for me this summer.
Interning for Children's Ministries was not comfortable for me. I was intimidated by the job, but it has been the most rewarding experience ever and has helped me grow the most in my faith and belief in who God created me to be.
Being around kids, for most of my summer, taught me to lead by example, to give everything to God, and to live uncomfortably. Now, as I am about to head off to college, I realize I won’t have all of the answers and sometimes I may feel intimidated by others who do know all of the answers. But, the one thing I can do is to give what I have to God and He will use that in the most unbelievable ways.
I encourage you to step out and do something uncomfortable in your faith, give God whatever you have to offer, even if it is the smallest thing, and to lead by love.