In church planting there is an interesting dynamic with kids. You don’t have the programming for them to disappear, to go subterranean in the life of the church. You lack the critical mass for multiple classes, as well as the space. When The Gathering Church gathers, we have a bunch of pre-school aged kids, and some babies. The toddlers love our church because we have a dinner after the service. They finish before everyone else and get to run around in the large fellowship hall, inventing their own play. A parent or two as well as some older kids insure that falls and spills are kept to a minimum. They also get to jump on the pastor if he gets in range. It’s great fun.
Some of the older kids stay in the service for the sermon. One, a six-year-old, named Harman, decided to take notes a couple of weeks ago. (Harman is the one who sometimes gives me advice about the best desserts at the dinner. From the look of his plate, I think that he truly is an expert on desserts.)
I think that I can learn a lot by what Harman writes down, by what sticks with him. He’s pretty conspicuous, sitting on the front row, less than four feet away from where I stand.
The first time he took notes, what stuck with him, what he wrote down was this statement that I made, “Everyone will worship something.” I was speaking about Jesus’ invitation from Matthew 11:28 to come to him, take on his yoke and find rest. The point was that we will all choose some sort of yoke, direction, or something or someone to serve. So, have we chosen the best one offered.
You know, one day Harman may never remember what he wrote down, but I bet he will remember that he wrote down something, that there was something worth hearing.
One of the reasons I like church planting is that I get to learn from kids.