Don’t Miss Out
I have a bad habit of multi-tasking in my head. While I’m busy doing one thing, I frequently am thinking about the next thing (or the thing after the next thing) that I need to do. The result? I often find myself forgetting what in the world I’m doing. Now why did I walk into the kitchen? Who was I supposed to call today? Did I already take that medicine?
I’m sure senility will be an easy transition for me.
By trying to think two steps ahead, I end up taking three steps back. Worst of all, I let my busyness and distraction cheat me out of the opportunities God puts before me.
My friend Tim told me a story about one of our Children’s Ministry leaders who faced that same struggle. Maybe you can relate.
Tim was observing one of our environments one weekend for a class project he was doing at Asbury Seminary. He told me about a Life Group Leader he saw who had her hands full with her kids. She did a great job of leading the morning’s activity, but when it came time to pack up her basket of supplies, she missed a major opportunity.
Tim told me that a little girl in her group lagged behind the others and began to tell her leader about the fact that her mom wasn’t going to be around much longer because she was going to jail. Believe it or not, the leader was so absorbed in cleaning up her Life Group supplies and getting everyone back to the large group room, that she totally missed what the little girl was trying to tell her.
Let that soak in for a minute. Here’s a girl pouring her heart out and desperate for affirmation. Here’s a leader following all the procedures, technically doing everything “right.” And yet, here’s a major opportunity for connection missed.
I don’t fault the leader. I know how crazy and hectic it can be to pull off ministry week in and week and week out. I know we frequently don’t have enough time for our group activities. I know leaders are rushed to get back into the big room as parents arrive. I know all of these things, but I can’t help thinking about that girl and how much she needed to talk. She needed Jesus with skin on to stop and listen.
So as you go into this weekend, I want to challenge you to do three things:
1. Keep your eyes open. Ask yourself, “Who looks lost? Who looks like they need some extra attention?”
2. Bounce it off God. Shoot up little “sonar” prayers throughout the service. Ask, “What do you want me to see, God? Who do I need to notice?”
3. When you see an opportunity to be Jesus to kids, go for it. I don’t care how much of your lesson gets left undone. It doesn’t matter if you leave your group supplies strung across the room. No matter what else is going on, when you sense a kid needs you, go for it. Listen. Have the conversation. Give the hug.
It’s no easy task to live in the moment, but if you can focus on being fully present for our kids, I can promise you that God will give you some incredible opportunities to connect, to love and be used in ways you never dreamed were possible.