Can we play a game…
We should play a game…
Can we play a game now…
Her tone of voice was more demanding than you’d expect. After all, this little angel was only in kindergarten and usually gave me no trouble. But not today – she was in rare form. The lesson wasn’t enough to keep her entertained and she wanted more.
She was speaking out of turn and the group was becoming distracted. I needed a quick redirect, but had no idea what to say. My reaction was kind but firm.
Ok kids, repeat after me… This is not Chuck E Cheese’s.
This is not Chuck E Jesus’
As the class repeated my words, she smiled and understood the point. We moved on and the crisis was soon forgotten.
No, I’m not against Mr. Cheese — his place is our default for family birthdays.
Yes, I understand that fun is an essential tactic for working with kids. I’ve always known the hard facts of working with children. They are always 30 seconds away from becoming a mob. It you don’t make it fun, they will invent their own kind of fun…. Not a good situation.
At the same time, we can’t mistake this tactic for the objective. We’re not selling pizza and game tokens. Our calling has more weight.
On any given Sunday, we enter into the battle for the souls of these children. Their life trajectory and eternal joy rests on the message of the Gospel.
If children’s ministry matters at all – kids church must be more than some kind of Chuck E Jesus’.
I’d love to hear your feedback. How do you balance fun and the weight of Gospel ministry? Do you think giant mice should be selling pizza to children? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.