Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ministry Fair & Equipping

So behind in blogging!  Okay, so a quick topic to restart the motor.

We had our annual ministry fair at my Fresno church this past Sunday. It's one of my favorite Sundays of the year. They shrink the two services from 1h15m to 1 hour, and that turns the 30 minutes of fellowship time in between into a whole hour. All the church and affiliated ministries (e.g., choir, pregnancy crisis center, college ministry, Awana, foster care agencies) set up tables in the gym and everyone goes inside to walk around and learn about ministries they may not have known as much about previously.

I was on for teaching Kindergarten this week 2nd service, so I didn't get to visit as many of the booths as I wanted to. Today was interesting. A friend and former coworker of mine started coming to my church with her husband and twin 5-year-old boys last year.  Now that they've been here a year, our children's pastor asked them to consider serving in Sunday School, so the wife was my helper today to get a feel for all it entails. I hope I didn't overwhelm her. I have a pretty good rhythm with the kids, and tried to explain the "why" of everything I do so that she would know what things are just my preference so if she decides to volunteer, she can make it her own rather than following my formula which she may not like.

The interesting part is that we were both in main church 1st service and the pastor did his sermon on qualifications for Christian ministry based on the first few verses of Titus. The first step he said was to be a Christian, and I don't know if I agree with that completely. In a lead pastoral role, absolutely. But in something like a kindergarten teacher, or maybe even a youth volunteer, I think God can use anyone where they're at. Stereotypically, a lot of our youth today are pretty jaded about their parents' faith in God. Those of us who cling to that faith out of a need for Christ don't always feel the need to ask the "why" questions of ourselves, and so we don't always have answers when asked. But someone who's in church but still wrestling with making the faith their own probably has great answers or counter-questions to those initial questions. I'm still not settled on that issue.

It was really neat for me to share this with my friend and realize that my experience is valuable for teaching.  It's more of an internal, "Wow, look how far God brought my selfish heart."  I love working with kids, but I always insisted on staying in the helper role, claiming I never had time to prep a lesson.  Somehow I was "encouraged" into the teacher role, and prep really doesn't take that much time with kindergartners.  Now suddenly I'm the adult and I get teenagers as my helpers that used to be in my past Sunday School classes (I didn't think I could feel quite so old without having children yet to make comments that date me).