This summer we’ve been doing a series with our children’s ministry from about Friendship. For the most part, these have been “single verse” focused. The bottom line each week has been something like this:
- Friends Love Each Other
- Friends Welcome Each Other
- Friends Teach Each Other
- Friends are Patient with Each Other
- Friends Serve Each Other
Today, the bottom Line was “Friends Accept Each Other”
These “single verse” lessons are really abstract. I will go on record and say that I have not been really impressed with the quality of materials this summer. To me, the scripts, videos, and large group materials this summer have seemed… meh. The creative and humor have been weak. I believe our team has improved the scripts, each week. It has been those ad lib, on the spot, improvements that have helped us get through the lesson. But… like I said, “single verse” lessons are difficult to wrap a story around that will engage kids for 9 weeks. Enough of that. On to today.
We had thought to use the video lesson that came with the curriculum in our first hour. I immediately realized that I needed to teach this one. The video wasn’t that great. I struggled with watching it and believed the kids would struggle also. So… all of the sudden, I got the opportunity to teach today. We didn’t plan it that way, but I think God planned it perfectly.
I started prepping to go ‘by the script.’ This “single verse” and simple lesson hit me harder than some others have been. How do you talk about acceptance with 6-11 year olds.
Agree with each other. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others. – Romans 12:16
Background: Growing up, I was the weirdo… geek… nerd… clumsy… awkward… kid growing up. Not a ton of friends. Elementary and Middle school were not the best years, and when I look back, I sometimes wonder how I made it. I had no self confidence and hated getting made fun of.
I started to think about all the junk these kids are going through.
ReThink suggested spending some time showing how different we all are. They had an activity that was meant to show us how God made each of us a unique individual, with gifts and talents and preferences.
Somewhere along the way, God started taking over. I really do feel like the abstract became more tangible for them. Both hours, they seemed to listen and participate. It was incredible. I was mic’d up, but God was the one doing the teaching, and he was teaching all of us.
Because at one point, I actually said, “I’m not sure if this is making any sense…” and aside from the one kid who jokingly and audibly said, ‘nope, not a bit,’ looking at faces, I saw that message was received.
As an aside, Paul was writing to the church at Rome. Telling them to get over their differences and accept each other as Christ had accepted them. MAN… We still haven’t listened to that lesson over the years. That “single verse” simple lesson still needs to be taught no matter how old we get.