I want to share in two parts a few lessons of what God has taught me in the last 8 months of my role as Children’s Pastor at Glenfair Church. It has been mostly a great time of growth and making new friendships with people that I serve. I love how the church is so welcome and really cares for others.
- God’s word doesn’t return empty (even when we mess up lessons).
I can’t tell you how many times over the last eight months I have had a blast teaching God’s word to kids. Although, it hasn’t been easy or anywhere near perfect. I remember teaching David and Goliath to the kids on a Sunday. I had them act it out- David slaying the giant and everything- the kids had a blast (and still remember it!). But just recently I was telling a Bible story that I was going to use an object lesson to introduce the small group lesson. Then, completely by accident I forgot to do the object lesson and it kind of messed up the small group questions.
Recently I was reminded of the passage in Isaiah 55:10-11 that says,
As the rain and the snowcome down from heaven,and do not return to itwithout watering the earthand making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,so is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
To me this means that even when I go away from teaching a lesson and feel bummed, that God can and will still use his word to accomplish his purpose for the people that I minister to. There are even times when I feel like I did really good and didn’t hear the response I was hoping. t am so thankful that God is still working even when I am weak.
- The importance of a healthy emotional and spiritual life to lead others.
By God’s design, right as I began my job at Glenfair, I was taking an introduction to counseling class and was confronted with a lot of pastoral issues such as grief, suicide, and divorce. I was also taught more about the importance to keep my emotional and spiritual life healthy in order to lead others. I have found a continual need for support from friends, family, personal prayer times, and a personal counselor I have met regularly with. I have been blessed to go through hard things that have required me to work through the process of continued emotional and spiritual growth that is required to work with families and children of various experiences and cultures. I am going to continue working on this through going on more monthly prayer retreats.
- Keep Christ at the center of everything.
Whether it’s community dinners or theology questions from 2nd graders (yes they do have them) I have been continually reminded to keep Christ at the center of everything that we do. Christ, the “Word made flesh”, continues to reveal himself through his Spirit in my interactions with people on a daily basis through particular stories and experiences. Some of the stories and experiences are really revealing of the need to express the love and hope that Jesus Christ offers us if we believe and live in him because of how heart-breaking and hurtful they can often be.
- Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.
I am so thankful for the hours of prayer that people in our church have put into living into God’s will for the community of believers. Even if we don’t have a big “program” for prayer I sense that many of the older people have the “sixth sense” of spiritual growth and perseverance- prayer. I believe that prayer helps me to focus on God, not just hard situations, and that when I do that it helps me to recognize that God is at work. I hope that you can be encouraged to pray with, for, and about the pastors, leaders, adults, families and children at your church. I know that it has helped me to grow in my love and compassion for the area of Portland that I live in.