Note from Kathie: Today’s guest post is from my friend Carla Adair Hendricks. I pray you’ll be blessed, inspired and challenged in the first of a two-part post.
As an adoptive momma, an advocate for adoptive and foster children and a Children’s Ministry leader, I love when my passions collide. A few weeks ago, my passions collided when I had the opportunity to train the Children’s Ministry volunteers at my church, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, on the topic “Teaching Children from Hard Places.”
My main point? If we as Children’s Ministry teachers are going to impact the children that we serve – even those who come from challenging environments and backgrounds – we must remove the old lenses we’ve been wearing in our classrooms and replace them with new ones.
Lens #1: View yourself as an advocate for children.
Becoming a teacher – even an occasional teacher in Children’s Ministry – is a high calling. It’s a calling that involves more than teaching Bible verses and leading “sword drills”.
Don’t misunderstand me. Yes, we want our students to memorize Bible verses and learn to recite all 66 books of the Bible. Yes, we want them to know the difference between King Saul in the Old Testament and Saul-who-became-Paul in the New Testament. And of course, we’d love for them to be able to retell the great Bible stories of Esther and David and Moses.
Yet teaching children in Children’s Ministry involves more than filling their heads with information – even the great information from the Bible. Actually it involves much more than teaching. It’s really about reaching the child. Reaching deep down into the heart of the child – touching him or her with the love of Christ.
So yes, we teach the children in our classes, but we also seek to reach these young ones with the message of Christ – that they are valuable and precious. That they were created by a loving God who wants a relationship with them.
In order to reach the children that enter our church’s classrooms, we must view ourselves as more than teachers. We are advocates for our children, encouraging them to be their best selves and encouraging them to love Jesus, themselves and others.
Please come back tomorrow for Part 2.
How does your ministry advocate for children from hard places? Please share with our community by leaving a comment below.
Carla Adair Hendricks is a pastor’s wife, mother of four, writer, speaker and orphan advocate. Two of her four children are biological, one was adopted from Russia, and one was adopted domestically. Her husband Anthony leads the Conway campus of the ethnically-diverse Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, where she serves the Mo Kids Children’s ministry as a teacher and teacher-coordinator for the K through 1st grade class. She also serves two orphan care ministries: The CALL and the African-American Church Initiative of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. A published journalist, Carla’s shares her heart at adoptionfostercareadvocate.blogspot.com and carlaadairhendricks.blogspot.com.