Monday, January 28, 2008

Let the children come unto me, and forbid them not

Today I had a neat experience while picking my kids up from school. My two sons attend our local public elementary school. As usual, I picked them up after their acivities.

As I got out of my car and approached the school, two boys, Robert and Angelo, who had recently been coming to our church greeted me. A minute later, Angelo's younger sister, Brianna, came out of the front entrance. She flashed me a huge smile and waved to me. Then my two boys came out, and suddenly I found myself in the company of a half dozen kids. One boy, Robert, didn't have a ride home, as his mom was running late, so he got in the car with me and my two boys and we drove him home. As we were driving the five or so minutes from the school to this boy's home, I was listening to a Jeff Deyo CD that I had popped in. Robert asked one of my sons, "what kind of music is that, I like it." Dan went on to tell Robert, "It's a Christian worship CD." So, Robert and my two sons started talking about the difference between worship music and rap artist 50cent. It was a sweet conversation going on between three kids. My boys were sharing their faith in their own way, through their own choice of music. Dan and Jacob have acquired a taste for some of dad's music. They particularly like Toby Mac.

I was thinking about how many kids that have been coming to our worship gatherings at the CORE Church of Troy. The church building we inherited is located in a neighborhood that is 95% residential, meaning there are a lot of kids hanging around this densely populated, inner-city neighborhood. Some of these kids have been showing up regularly at our church. There are some Sundays, like yesterday, when the kids out number the adults. We have embraced this open door for ministry. My wife, Brenda, has accepted the invitation by our core group to lead our children's ministry. This is a great fit because she has a love and a burden for children. She has been actively engaged in some form of children's ministry since she was a teenager.

We thought and prayed about the potential of having a thriving children's ministry and what that will look like. Ask anyone who is familiar with Troy's North Central/South Lansingburgh neighborhood, and they will tell you that children's ministry is desparately needed. Many of these kids, as we have learned, come from broken homes. Many of these homes are led by single moms who work and don't exercise the supervision and discipline that these young children need. If we, as a local church, can play some small part in seeing that these kids are cared for, we will have accomplished more than we can imagine.