The Moments We Miss

Historians say that George Washington lost every battle before finally winning the war. This sums up my feelings toward children’s ministry. Most of you can relate. From the moment we first enter a new church, we feel “led” toward children’s ministry. Likely because some lovely, gray-haired matriarch of the church has you by the wrist and is dragging you toward the Sunday school classrooms.

Well maybe it’s not quite that bad. But few can argue that there is no small amount of pressure on anyone without a church ministry to do his or her duty among the little ones. I’ve tried to argue that this is not my calling. I will certainly do more harm than good. A parent will complain about the duct tape encasing her angel upon pick-up.

My protests go unheard.

And so the battles commence. I’ve spent many a Sunday service with the more precious of our youth. Specifically, 3rd or 4th grade boys. Usually the “invitation” goes something like “Oh, you’re a man in relatively good shape…no history of heart problems? Good, you get the boys.”

No history of heart problems yet.

So I spent my allotted number of Sundays instructing those who find excruciating any activity that doesn’t involve firearms, real or imaginary. They are quick to shift their discomfort in my direction. I am given activity sheets and a lesson plan. These are completed in 5 minutes. Then I spend my remaining hour attempting to teach biblical values in a story form involving small arms.

Somehow, I survive the year. Usually on the last day, after our hour of sour, my boys line up and, to my astonishment, hug me and ask if I’ll be their teacher next year. This never ceases to perplex me. My wife finds it equally perplexing when I respond to my annual invitation in the affirmative. “Again?” she asks. “Haven’t you learned your lesson?”

“As a matter of fact,” I say, “I have.”

We will rarely know the moment we touch a heart. The moment will pass like a million before it and we will continue our day, believing nothing has changed. For one person, be it child or adult, much has changed. It must suffice that we know those moments exists. The proof that our efforts are not in vain will not be revealed soon, maybe not at all before the Great Reunion.

So, if you’ll excuse me. I have to outfit Joshua and his Israelites with some Stinger launchers and AR-15s. See you Sunday. Downstairs.


I am a husband, dad, Christian, and writer. Not necessarily in that order. It took me thirty years to turn my life over to my Redeemer. It's taken another ten to figure out what it is He has in store for me. My first novel, Now I Knew You, will be released in March, 2015. I pray that God will allow me to write many more before calling me home.

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