Wednesday, 30 April 2008

"Look! The grass is coming up already!"


It was Easter Sunday 2005 and I was attending church with my daughter's family and the grandchildren. As I was sitting there "evaluating" this new church they had chosen for their family, I began to be less than positive in my evaluation. Nothing specific, just dumb personal preferences that really don't amount to a hill of beans.


Suddenly, during the message about Easter and new beginnings the pastor came off the platform, out from behind his pulpit and went over to the window and pointed to the new lawn that was trying to spring up. He tried to describe, but words were not coming freely. He looked at the congregation and asked; "Children, come here, look out the window at the new grass!" The children flocked to the window to see. My granddaughter, age 4, was the last to arrive, she was smaller than many of the bigger children, and could not see. The pastor noticed she could not see, picked her up in his arms and held her to the window and stated; "Look! the grass is coming up already!"

I broke down, because I knew that at that moment the pastor just became her pastor! do you know how significant that is? He became a personal relationship just as much as Jesus wants a personal relationship with us. I later emailed the pastor and thanked him for his personal interest he has shown to my family.

It is now 3 years later - has that incident had any impact on my granddaughter? I think so. Several weeks ago she went to the alter at the age of 7 and asked Jesus into her heart! Yahoo! This past Sunday she went to the altar with her mommy again to pray.

Many of you who visit my blog are pastors, worship leaders, or work on the platform in religious services doing various tasks. Please, do not ignore the children. Forgive us as spoiled adults who are offended when you seem to ignore us and don't give us the attention we seem to demand. We need to apologize to you - give that attention to the children. Their lives and souls are at stake.

23 comments:

Brandy said...

Papa, you always make me cry. ;-) Love you! Such a great story! :D

Indian Lake Papa said...

Brandy - In a way its about selfishness - I tend to focus on my wants and needs too much - I need to focus on others, especially the little ones.

Heather said...

OK Papa...this one made me teary! Especially the end.

As you know, my passion is youth ministry and I cannot begin to tell you how often it feels as if we have to 'fight' with the adults to allow us to minister and mentor their children. It can be so frustrating and it has been something that we (my youth director and I) have been struggling with lately.

I have mentioned in my previous posts that I just don't like being involved in adult ministries and that I gravitate towards the kids. I believe God has put me where He wants me. I believe your post confirmed that. Thank you:)

Love and Blessings...

Indian Lake Papa said...

heather - your response hit a spot in my heart - I am teary eyed right now. We adults had better get out of the way or we will answer to God about it. I have been that adult who has gotten in the way. Thanks!

Carol - CDCversion said...

Powerful Post, Papa!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Carol - I am glad I have two churches that care about the needs of children!

Tam said...

OH SO WELL PUT!!!

Wow.

Amazing insight!

Thank you Papa. Thank you!!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Tam - I know your church has a great children's ministry, I hope the adults understand that and support children's ministry.

inWorship said...

Thank you Papa, for the challenge and reminder for those of us as Pastors specifically, but also for all of us who have influence.

I am so grateful to know your little granddaughter will someday see Jesus face to face!

Ed said...

Papa, there isn't anything more important than children. They are our future.

We don't do enough for them and I can only hope they grow up smarter then we are.

You and Mama make a great role models. At least you are now that you listen to Mama. :)

Heather said...

Papa,

Sorry for the tears. That certainly wasn't my intention:) I am so grateful that God revealed this to you and pray He will reveal it to others.

When I began youth ministry, I started with small children as an AWANA leader. Parents were very cooperative. However, once I became a High School Youth Leader....and we began speaking to these children about sex, drugs, peer pressure, cutting, suicide, etc...the parents began to distrust us. I always thought it would be the non-churched parents that would challenge our teaching. It never occurred to me,in a million years,that my friends, my church family, would question what we were teaching their children.

It has definitely been a hard road. If only they knew the love we have for their child. We strive tirelessly to teach their children how to apply God's Word to their daily lives and how to be in the world, not of the world.

I can't begin to tell you what your post means to me. It was a great reminder that I need to be praying for those parents!!!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Heather - I wish every Christian parent who has teenagers would learn to trust their youth workers. But they don't. A lot of it is not willing to admit that their own "Christian" kids need help. Mine needed that help. Thats why we hire youth and children pastors!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Brent - you have a tremendous responsibility as a pastor. Also friend, encourage your kids "pastors" to work with your kids.

Ed - these kids are the future! your right! I ALWAYS listen to mama!

mandy said...

i think this is so true.

there's a little one at our church who LOVES to sing at the top of her lungs during worship.
it makes me smile every time.
:)

i want to grab her up & put her on the platform with me - maybe i should talk to her mom about it.

inWorship said...

Papa, you are absolutely right.

And by the way, we have a wonderful kids Pastor who is sold out for the kids in our community. It is a great honor to work with him.

Indian Lake Papa said...

Mandy - go for it! When I was a teenager we had a yung boy who did that - sung his heart out. Today he is a preacher about to retire! God is good.

Brent - let me be real clear on something - the church is not responsible for leading our kids to Christ. We are as parents. Unfortunately, the church has to step into a more active role when the parents don't take the lead. But Christian parents NEED to be just that - Christian.

Life Adapted said...

This is a beautiful post and reading the comments, I have learned how important each and every person in the church is. I'll post a picture that was in my father's boyhood home, it's Jesus with little children. It's a simple picture with a beautiful message. Be blessed.

Indian Lake Papa said...

I think this is so important LA !! Jesus strongly rebukes those who shut out the children.

inWorship said...

Papa, you are absolutely right. Parents have to be the #1 responsible party and influence in their children's lives.

Indian Lake Papa said...

Brent - if only parents would grasp that role! Thanks for your comments. I value that input. Its kind of funny - blogging has put a whole different twist on influence.

Robin said...

eadOur children's pastor talks about the value of a child's life changed for Christ and I agree.

Great post!

Tam said...

i found some Geritol!!!

;-)

Indian Lake Papa said...

Robin - thanks for your comment! Children are vey important - they will be the church soon!

Tam - good girl, I knew I could count on you!