Children's Pastors Are Like Farmers
My whole family lived on one big farm together. My aunts and uncles had different houses, but they worked the large chunk of land together with my cousins. I never lived on the farm, but I was fascinated with the culture. I dreamed of being a farmer's wife, cooking country breakfasts, raising a garden, having a large family, canning, and making quilts. I don't do any of that now that I am an adult, but God is showing me that as a Children's Pastor, I am a farmer.
Just like a farmer, I am tilling up the land, planting seeds and caring for tender plants. My crop is a bunch of kids who attend Children's Church every week. I think about them all week long as I make schedules, write curriculum, prepare the classroom, train the volunteers, and pray that this crop of kids will know Jesus in a real way and impact the world around them.
You see, I'm yielding a new crop of sixth graders to the youth group each year. I am producing a crop. Will they succeed? Are they ready? The statistics show that more than half of them will quit church during their teenage years. I am just planting seeds. Just as kids grow and leave, a new crop of kids move up into our class each year. You work and work to train up a group of kids and then they are gone. So, just like a farmer, I start over each year and plant a new crop, believing that these young ones will grow and beat the statistics.
I have been building a kids worship band for the past 18 months and I feel really close to the kids in the band because I have known them since they were babies. I was their Children's Pastor when they were in the nursery. I have watched them mature into young men and women who can preach, lead worship, and pray for others. I am so proud of them. I know their parents did all the work, but I am still proud. It has been hard on me to release them into the youth group this year. I am not nervous that they will be negative statistics. I am just realizing that I have to start all over and watch a new crop of kids grow and mature, fall in love with them, and then hand them over to the youth ministry. It's a sobering thought that each year, we are working with a new crop. Children's Pastors don't get to keep building on the old foundations. They start over- over and over again.
Mark 4: 14-20 says: 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
*photo by hotblack at www.morguefile.com