Monday, September 26, 2016

Ministry Monday - Kids' Club

About six years ago, our church began an after-school ministry, a "kids' club," in one of our suburban school districts.  It proved successful and so we began another kids' club in a city recreational center on Monday afternoons.  Youth desiring to minister in the suburban outreach needed to be a minimum age of 15 years old.  As I did not have any children of that age at the time, we were not involved.  I loved the idea of this ministry - teaching kids from different backgrounds the Bible and about the love of Jesus, playing games with them and building relationships with the goal of them beginning a relationship with the heavenly Father.  However, I could not leave my own children who needed those things in order to teach other children.

I remember clearly the day I was talking to the leader of the Kids' Clubs and found out that the city ministry had no such minimum age.  I could bring all seven of my children.  Obviously, my then-3 year old and other little ones would not be able to teach, etc., but my older kids would be a help.

So it began.  Every Monday during the school year, we load up our van, drive out of our farm driveway and trek into the inner-city.  Over the years, we have come to know and love many children - some of whom have stuck around while some have left the program due to moves or getting caught up in the city crowds.  We have had our joys and our heartbreaks.  Some children have challenged us with their attitudes while others have quickly won us over with their sweetness.  We've talked to kids considering suicide, spoken with kids whose parents are in jail, we have experienced one of our clubbers being in a serious accident and seeing his recovery.  Each of these children have stories - broken homes, broken lives, but they shine with childish hope.  They come searching for love and we are there to give it to them and introduce them to the Giver of unconditional, unending love.

Some of my older children are no longer able to minister on Mondays due to their increasingly busy schedules and adult-hood overtaking them.  Yet, my once-little ones are now old enough to become leaders and more active helpers.  From the first day so long ago, however, even my youngest children ministered in their own way.  They were (and still are) the same ages as some of our clubbers.  My children would sit and listen to the lessons, sing the songs, and learn the verses - all the while encouraging their city-peers to do the same. "Hey, that kid is doing can I!"  My littlest one would often capture the attention and smiles of some of the little girls - ministering in spreading joy.

Ministry on Monday afternoons has become a way of life for us.  Our 12-passenger van is almost always full as take other young people who also desire to serve in the Kids' Club.  This transporting of ministers and feeding them afterwards has become a ministry in and of itself.

Being a mom is my main ministry.  Nothing should come before it.  Yet, when I can minister with my children - actively teaching them to minister to others - this is the highest calling.

In the coming weeks, I will discuss more about being involved in ministry while being a mom. I will delve a bit more into our Kids' Club ministry as well as our Monday evenings, homeschool group, coffee-dates, moms' breakfasts, etc.  In the meantime, I would love to hear how you minister with your children.

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