Kids Ministry Outreach: Searching For Lost Lambs

children's ministry outreach
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In a few minutes, I’ll head out for some afternoon evangelistic visits. Today, I’ll be making the rounds in a nearby trailer park. Our ministry serves several lower income children from that neighborhood. These kids often come on the bus, and their parents almost never come with them.

I don’t get out there very often, four times each year. Ministering to these families has been one of the best and worst aspects of my job. I consider it a great privilege to share Jesus with these kids. Their lives are often upside down. So much about their situation is working against them – poverty, unstable housing, family dysfunction and a dangerous neighborhood.

But it is a hard ministry. Our church has been serving this particular part of town for twenty years. Not much changes. Too often families move in-and-out in a matter of months. It is very rare that we see any spiritual growth. When they come to church, many of these children lack basic self-control and create behavioral problems. When they reach the teen years they stop coming, and often turn their backs on all we’ve tried to teach them.

Sometimes, it just seems like a lost cause.

Today, God is reminding me that my own story is not so different. Looking back, I had plenty of negative influences in my life as well. There were churches that tried to reach out to me, but with no effect. When the time came, I followed hard after the world and was far from God in every way.

But God’s love is an active thing. He came into my spiritual slums and was not discouraged by my cold responses. He sent Christians into my life to love me even when I looked unlovable. At the end of the day, Jesus didn’t give up. He didn’t write me off as a lost cause.

“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

I take that as a promise. Jesus is not just about seeking – he came to finish the job. He wasn’t just looking for lost sheep, he found them. The good shepherd is not giving up.

Today, I am praying with hope. I believe that God can and will make a difference in the lives of those children. I’m asking God to use me to find some lost lambs this afternoon.


Comments

  1. says

    Tony, greetings to you in no other name but the name of Jesus.
    I really enjoy your postings, they gives me encouragement, especially the part which say sometimes it seems like a lost cause, this is true. It makes me feel sometimes as though I would give up; but I remember God did not give up on me, so I have to have patience with them and believe God for the strength to deal with everyone that might come my way. The sick needs a physician likewise those children need a teacher.

  2. Elma says

    Dear Tony
    Thanks for your post. Thank God for using you in the lives of these children. Yes sometimes it may feel like a lost case, but we know that God is working through you to plant the seed, the Holy Spirit will nourish these seeds and though you can’t see any results, someday, somehow, this seed will grow. God bless you in your ministry and give you the strenght to carry on.
    Love in Christ
    Elma

  3. says

    What a great post, Tony. Thanks. I do some substitute teaching in a middle school where the teachers tell me that over 80% of the students don’t even have one supportive parent. Neglected young people, to say the least! Many of them smell awful, some are outwardly dirty. The majority are abundantly selfish. All are sinners at heart, yet the “powers that be” continue to push new ideas that are supposedly going to “set these children on the right track.” Of course, I have to be careful–I can’t just go in there and start preaching the gospel (even though their doctrine of “tolerance” would seem to allow it, technically), but when they ask me my opinion on certain issues, I am free to speak the truth. Your brief post has encouraged me to do so, remembering that, though I had a vastly different upbringing than most of these kids, apart from the sovereign grace of God I would remain as inwardly corrupt as they are–Hell would be my future, and deservedly so. Praise the Lord for seeking and saving the lost! Again, thanks for the warm and inspiring post.

    Warmly in Christ,
    Steve

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