God Inviting Us to BIG Things
The Challenge to God Reality
I’m a practical person; let me just get that on the table. Big dreams go through quite a reality-check filter almost from the moment of idea inception. Yes, this can and does hamper faith, and yes I do have a lot to learn about believing God to do His work through us. I just want you to know, though, you’re hearing from a very real person here.
Regardless, the unavoidable truth is this: God invites us to do BIG things. He calls us to “God things”—things we could never accomplish without Him. Faith is great, but faith without real-life service is motionless, fruitless, and lifeless. If we are to fan the faith-flame in the lives of children and leaders—the kind of faith that answers the “so what?” question—we must engage kids and leaders in face-to-face acts of compassion. As I see it, we can tackle that assignment from a few angles:
- Family first. It’s God’s idea, so don’t look at me. Parents are the prime spiritual influencers. What if we challenge families to take on a mission? At our district Kids Convention (KidCon) we launch a four-week BGMC project. One of my kids’ pastor friends asked how we could better position the parents as the lead influencer. Good question. So we created weekly communications to be pushed out from the KidMin leader to the parents. Four weeks of prayer points, a picture, a look at the need, and an action step for that week. It goes way past the offering total to the goal of growing missions-minded kids and empowering Mom and Dad in that journey.
- Flip that VBS. Take something you’re already doing and flip the feature from education to action. Another super kids’ pastor friend of mine did this and designed a week of serving their community. From painting a fence to hosting a friendship party with special-needs adults, these kids and leaders went out Monday through Friday in Jesus’ name to show their community exactly what following Jesus looks like. Those kids are marked for life by seeing Jesus’ words in action up close.
- Missions trips for the whole family. It was just a day trip, but our families couldn’t stop talking about their one day in Mexico and the people they met. But you don’t have to cross a border to impact a culture. By way of relationship connect with a people, for us it was the abused and neglected children enjoying a week at Royal Family Kids Camp. We arranged for our kids to minister at the camp’s birthday party by attending chapel, bringing gifts, and singing.
- Fresh eyes for KPs. I led a team of kids’ pastors to Costa Rica last year. First hand they trained teachers, prayed for and dedicated a boys’ safe-play space in the heart of a desperately poor community, and taught girls and boys about following Jesus. We feature those leaders at our leadership conference and KidCon like the rock stars they are. God was immediately at work sparking God-sized dreams in the hearts of the hundreds listening in.
As a district leader I train, challenge, and inspire leader after leader to accomplish more. I am in awe of the Spirit-led kids’ pastors who lead the charge outside their buildings and into the world with compassion and a clear message of Christ. I don’t have to be the source of every good idea or plan. As a district leader, I get to network leader-to-leader. I champion their stories. I put missionaries front and center at our conferences and camps.
At the time of writing, I was three days fresh from West Africa, still a bit jet-lagged, and the words I heard sang from the children of Sierra Leone still ringing in my heart: “Everywhere He went my God was doing good.” May those words be true of us, His followers.