Grace’s kids program grew for a couple years in numbers and has plateaued numerically. But, this year there’s been a different type of growth–a growth in depth. It’s as obvious as what I call “the baby-ducks phenomenon.” More than once I’ve watched adult leaders get up to walk somewhere within the church. Without a word, a few kids closely tied to that leader invariable notice and get up to follow, even if it ends up being a trip to the coat rack because the adult leader only needed something from a pocket. In other words, trust has deepened. Relationship has grown. I see the same with some of the kids seeking out people that are becoming their favorites within the congregation just to say, “hi” on Sunday morning. In the grocery store, kids from church will spot me from a distance, before I spot them, race over to say, “hello.” It’s a little harder to gauge people’s relationships with God. But, I see some signs those are growing as well.
This Sunday the Children’s Ministry is leading worship–and focusing on Following Jesus. “Let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). I will be curious to hear what the kids have to share. It also brings up important questions in all our lives: “how are we doing at following Jesus?” Do we notice where Jesus leads? Are there places in our lives where Jesus calls us one direction but we find ourselves wanting to go the opposite direction? I invite you to take a few moments before Sunday to read Mark 8:31-38 and listen to what Jesus says. Pray over it. Perhaps click on the link that follows as you pray and let a piano arrangement of “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow” be part of your reflection.