Today was Day 2 for VBS. Although this program is for ages 5-12, with teens acting as leaders – I’m pretty sure I’ve learned far more than the kids. We spend 3 hours together each morning. I was so excited to see my Starfish this morning – and proud to say I am a starfish as well! My Stars are 9-10 years old, and they are boys. What a privilege it is to spend time with these guys. We’ve talked about fishing (not just about fish – but tackle and line also!), cars, flying, the beach, spiders, and snakes. That is in addition to our Bible lessons.
The first grace lesson actually started a little before the start of VBS. I was planning to help my Mom with the Creation Station projects (really cool nature projects), but felt led to offer to help out wherever needed if a position needed to be filled. So, I followed the God nudge and did just that. Terry – our fearless leader – was receptive to the offer. Monday morning found me gifted the Starfish/Green Team leader. Awesome stuff!
The next grace lesson was the treasure of remembering the joy of working with children. I crave the childlike faith these kids have. It’s interesting to watch the change as you observe the age groups. Our Minnows – the 5 & 6 year-olds – they are full of joy. They dance with abandon, and sing, and NO ONE dulls their sparkle! The 7-8 year-old group isn’t quite as jubilant. The 9 & 10 group – well, we are boys with one old lady. It’s apparently not so cool for boys to sing and dance. The older kids and teens – it’s interesting. They stand around in a group, and watch. There is this look in their eyes that says “I really want to dance around and sing – but what will the others think?” Terry is a dynamo – she is dancing and singing with enough enthusiasm for all the bystanders. The rest of us leaders – we’re trying to sing and dance – just not with as much success as the 5 & 6 year olds! When it’s time for our Bible story though, all ages are tuned in to the story. They absorb and learn those lessons. Seeds are planted – good seeds.
Kids, especially the young ones, are fascinating. Many have “back stories” that would make you cry. Most often, you’ll never know what those stories are. If you are lucky enough to have them share that story with you, realize that you have earned their trust. DON’T mess with that. Recognize the value of that precious gift, honor the giver. (This is a lesson I learned long ago in children’s ministry work.) The other thing about these kids? They carry these stories inside – but the stories don’t control them. They still know how to look for joy and give and share joy. I think as we grow, we forget how to be like children. We carry our hurt, grudges, fears, etc. and wear them like badges. My greatest joy yesterday and today was seeing smiles on my Stars faces. Those are riches beyond compare! Kids most often will accept you for who you are. Something else we lose as we age.
Energy grace lesson – children have huge amounts of energy, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Unfortunately, at least for me – it is not sustainable like it seems to be for the kids. But it is renewable! I am excited to soak up as much energy and enthusiasm for life as possible with these amazing kids.
One more quick one before bed – don’t overthink things!
Excited for the rest of the week…