Yesterday, in Creekside my elementary area of my Children’s Ministry I taught on devotions and quiet times. Last week I was asked by Standard Publishing to present a break-out session on “Teaching Kids To Fall In Love With Devotions” So as I started to work on it. I wanted to put a few of my thoughts to the test and see how my kids would respond to the ideas I had on helping them fall in love with devotions.
As I wrote my lesson I kept thinking that its not that we want kids to fall in love with devotions but fall in love with spending time with God. Some may say that a Kindergartener would not understand or grasp the concept of spending time with an invisible God let alone stay focused enough to communicate with God.
I have to say that we are fools if this is what we think. Sometimes it’s easier for a small child to do this than a full grown adult. Kids already have imaginations that rock the socks of adults. Some say well they don’t understand who it is that their spending time with.
Well I can’t help but to think of when Jesus rebuked His disciples from keeping the children for coming to him. (Mark 10:14) Or when he said the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (Matthew 19:14) I believe Jesus wanted those who follow Him to learn a few things from this. He knew that they had what it would take to make it thought this world. I could go on and on about this but the bottom line is this. A lot of times we shortchange the children, with only expecting them to be able to understand simple things.
As I progressed though this lesson showing the kids that we needed to spend time with God and that He wants to spend time with us. It occurred to me that this was not me telling the kids that He wants to commune with them on a daily basis, but it was straight from the word of God. This meant that it was God telling them He wanted a special time with them.
I approached it in the same way as having an appointment with God everyday. How could they understand appointment? Well since most of them have grown up knowing the importance of appointments. Think about it since they were babies the have been told they have doctor appointments. This is an easy concept to grasp and with having doctor appointments the priority has been communicated as very important. So how much more important is an appointment with the one who made the heavens and the earth, the one who created them? They understood this immediately.
That hard part for me was to try and communicate that God wants our best, first fruits. He wants to be number one. I wanted to do this in a way that they understand that sometimes we put God on the back burner and when we have time extra time we give it to Him. So I thought about something they could relate to food. Specifically left-overs.
I said when we have a good meal we look forward to the freshness on the meal and the great flavor it has. We may even look forward to having the same meal again for lunch the next day. But if we continue to have the same meal at every sitting it gets old. It looses it’s flavor, it’s excitement, and eventually all left-overs need to be thrown away. The point is that God wants to have that first meal with us. He doesn’t want the scraps or what’s left over. He deserves much more that this.
The kids totally caught it and when I asked how often should we spend time with God the answer was given “all the time”. Why is it so hard for us to get this but not just get it but also do it?
The sad part is that it’s due more time than not to our busy schedules. The killer is this while other beliefs are raising there kids to put their beliefs first, we are saying to our Christian families “were just to busy for God”. Instead of helping our kids were hurting them and keeping blessings from them. By filling there lives with things that will help them succeed in this wonderful world while we let their eternity fall to chance or unintentionally show them time with God has less importance than the things we stay busy with.
I have to stop and ask where do I want my children to succeed? (Not just my family but also my ministry kids) Do I want them to succeed in this life or the one that will never end?
I think about 1 Peter 2:2 “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” what is our salvation worth and what are we saying to our kids about their salvation? Is it time to really crave God like he craves to be with us? Who are the adults? Who gets it? A 5 year old or me? Man, I need to get my act together. How about you?