This week’s guest blogger is Hannah Harwood, Children’s Ministry Director at Sam Jones United Methodist Church located in the Atlanta suburb of Cartersville.
I love Summers in ministry! The rest of the church might slow down but Kid’s ministry is full steam ahead. One of the biggest events during the summer is Vacation Bible School. About halfway through the week I received the kindest compliment from another member on staff that made me smile for the rest of the week. She told me that after talking with one of the youth volunteers that one of my spiritual gifts is empowering teenagers. The young man had told her that he felt he was able to use his own gifts and that he had a crucial part in VBS. He had been in charge of collecting all the crew rosters, taking attendance, and updating records throughout the week. He was a computer pro and because he was able to use his gifts, I was able to put out necessary “fires” and spend time with leaders and children. We had two Eagle Scouts serve as crew leaders and even a member of the high school baseball team lead worship. Young men and young women from middle and high school were crucial members of the team. They led worship, assisted in crafts, served as crew leaders, and were examples for each child.
As adults, it is so easy to forget that our lead pastors and ministry leaders were once children and youth in churches. When we empower and guide our young adults by learning their gifts we are able to reach not only the current church but the future church as well. It takes listening to the Holy Spirit and trusting God’s call on their lives. I would not be where I am today without the mentors God placed in my life early on. How am I as a Children’s Director seeking out those that need mentoring? How can I walk alongside them and offer support and guidance as they serve in children’s ministry?
In John 6, we find Andrew speaking out to Jesus on behalf of the young boy. He could have easily told the young boy that his gift was not enough and shooed him away. But he didn’t. Not only did he share with Jesus that the boy had offered what he had, but he also revealed his doubt that it would be enough. Each year right before Vacation Bible School, I go through a similar thought process. Do I have enough? And every year God reminds me that as long as I keep looking for the five small barley loaves and the two small fish, HE will take care of the rest.
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:8-9
You can connect with Hannah by emailing email@example.com.