Semester in Scotland Blog Posts

It’s Pathetic! (But I Love It)

So, apart from all the gallivanting I’ve been doing while here, I have also learned a great deal (well, I would hope so, seeing as that’s the real reason why I came here).  I can’t even begin to tell you of all the many things that I’ve learned.  A lot of it has to do with various doctrines and why they’re important (which are all very beneficial in learning), but I think one of the things here that has impacted me the most has been the church’s children’s ministry: Kid’s Club.  I’ve always loved kids and seeing them learn about God is a wonderful thing!  So having the opportunity to actually participate in a kid’s program while in Scotland has been a great experience for me.

Games at Kids Club
Games at Kids Club

In one of the books we read for Church Ministry, No Guts, No Glory, the author talks about how a lot of people view youth groups and children’s ministries as prosperous and successful by how many kids show up.  If they get a lot of  kids, they think the program is doing well, but if they don’t get a whole lot, they say it’s pathetic.  The author then refutes that theory by expressing the importance of the quality of the program and not the quantity of the attendees.  Yeah, it would be nice to get a lot of kids to show up at youth group (after all, they are our future), but that’s not all that matters.  It is more important to invest in the kids at a deeper level as opposed to having so many that you can barely know them all by name.  It is in this way that you will make a difference in their lives.  Other wise, you just give them a hang out time and place in which they may or may not stay out of trouble.  The whole point of youth group and children’s ministries is to teach them not only about God, but to show and instruct them how they can have a personal relationship with Him.

Psalm singing at Kids Club
Psalm singing at Kids Club

Kid’s Club then, is pathetic.  Even CY, the youth group, is pathetic since it is even smaller than Kid’s Club.  But that is what makes them so great!  It’s not all about the numbers.  It is about investing in the individual kids.  Why?  Because — and I can not stress this enough — because: They. Are. People.  That’s why all this is so important!  These children, that are entrusted to us for a couple hours of the week, are people.  They have needs that need to be met: spiritual, emotional, physical needs.  These needs can’t be fully met when there are too many attendees and not enough leaders.  In the grand scheme of things, investing in the kids in the programme will benefit both you and them.  In teen youth groups, this is essential because teens are already at a tough time in their lives.  In younger youth programs it is still very important.

Craft Time
Craft Time
Telling the story
Telling the story

Kid’s Club focuses on kids aged 5-10, not quite teens but still very much people.  On a good day we have about 13 kids who come.  Usually though, it’s more like 10.  Pathetic, right?  WRONG!!!!  Numbers don’t really matter in the long run!  It may be small in number, but Kid’s Club in the Airdrie RPC has been one of the best kids programmes I’ve had the privilege of being a part of!   We teach the kids about God using stories from the Bible and let me tell you, they pay attention.  Some of the greatest times are when the kids are sitting around the person telling the story, and they are listening intently and asking questions.  They goof around sometimes but for the most part they pay attention.  We sing Psalms and have a memory verse.   We also have games, snacks, and crafts every week too, but these are only supplemental to the lesson.  The focus in this pathetic little programme (and I mean ‘pathetic’ only in terms of the numbers), is right
where it should be: fully on God.  Numbers may look impressive, but if none of the kids attending grow to have a relationship with God then what was the point?

Debbie Shafer

The Eldership

This week I was going to talk about some of our classes, and I was about halfway through typing up my first edition of the post before I went to a talk at the church.  It was on eldership.  But when I went my brain was overloaded with the pure awesomeness of God’s design of the Church.  SO, I will keep this short and simple.

What I learned from the talk: the eldership is of utmost importance because the elder is in charge of leading the church.  Why?  It cost the precious blood of the one true Son of God to be founded.  If that isn’t enough to impress upon you the seriousness of the office, the fact that the church will come under attack and Christ gave the office responsibility of protecting (shepherding) the Church adds to the importance.  What happens when the elders do not protect the flock?  Will they be lost?  No, no one can snatch them out of God’s hand.  But they will become confused about Christ, and if they become confused their love for Him will lessen, which leads to a lessening of hope in Him, and as a result they will pursue him less, which means the fruit of the Spirit will not be produced in their lives (less love, peace, joy, patience, etc) which finally prevents them from effectively being the church.  Thus the church falls apart.

Something to dwell on.

Pray for your elders.

Ethan Mathews

Comments are closed.