Last weekend my friend Adrienne delivered a power message to our 3rd-5th grade kids in Club Orbit. I watched her communicate the salvation story with an energy and skill that few teachers possess. Even the fifth grade boys were engaged. She really is the best of the best.
But Adrienne did something this weekend that reminded me of why she is one of my all time favorite children’s leaders, and it had nothing to do with her teaching skills. I know you’re not supposed to have favorites, but when you hear this story, you’ll understand.
During the Saturday night service, Adrienne noticed a girl who happened to be visiting from out of state. Her grandmother had brought her to church, and she obviously wasn’t connected yet. Adrienne told me that the whole night she had just felt drawn to her for some reason.
After she had finished her lesson, she hopped in her car and headed for home, but little did she know that God wasn’t done with her yet. All the way home, God kept bringing that girl to her mind. The farther she drove, the more she was convinced she needed to talk to her. So, she turned around and headed back to the church not even sure if she could find her.
Adrienne asked God what He wanted her tell the girl. He reminded her of a Bible study she’d done earlier in the day about being God’s masterpiece creation. Tell her that, God said.
The girl, of course, was still there when Adrienne arrived, and Adrienne sat down with her and struck up a conversation. Eventually she told her, “Hey, I was reading something really cool in my Bible today. You want to hear it?”
“Sure,” the girl said.
Then Adrienne began to talk to her about the truth of who God made her to be, that she is precious to Him, a work of art, no matter how she may feel about herself day to day. The girl connected with what she was saying, and God used Adrienne to deposit truth in this girl’s heart that will bear fruit that we can’t even imagine.
Adrienne teaches several hundred kids every time she’s on. I love that she paid enough attention to God to zero in on this one kid who needed an extra touch. I also love that she was obedient to the prompting that urged her to turn around. It was obvious God had something to say to that girl Saturday night. Without Adrienne there, who else would have said it?
After hearing that story, it struck me that our programming volunteers – teachers, actors, worship leaders and techs – have a unique opportunity that our Life Group leaders don’t. They don’t have a group of 10 – 20 kids to keep up with after the large group program. They are free to notice and make a one-on-one touch that no one else can make.
So my challenge this week is for each of our programming volunteers:
- Ask God to help you see your ministry beyond what happens in the program.
- Spend some time in the Bible the next Saturday before you serve and ask God to lead you to some truth one of our kids needs to hear beyond the stage. What encouragement or comfort does He want you to deliver?
- Pray for God to show you which kid needs to hear it. Keep your eyes open and see who you feel drawn to.
- Follow Adrienne’s cue, and obey God’s prompting. Feel a nudge in your spirit? Don’t be shy. Go for it and share what God has given you.
- Send me your story so I can share with others about how God is using you to reach out to His kids.
I love leaders like Adrienne who make themselves available for God’s purposes. I know that if it were my daughter sitting in Club Orbit, how incredibly thankful I would be that a leader cared enough about her to turn around and bring her the truth that God wanted her to hear.
Paying attention and obeying. That’s what ministry is all about.