Some time ago, a friend of mine–we’ll call her Mary, was summoned to the pastor’s office for a meeting. From the pastor’s tone, Mary sensed that she’d made some sort of mistake but the pastor refused to give her any information over the phone. Prior to the impromptu meeting, Mary had never been called into the office before so she spent the whole night stewing over the possibilities.
Should I have given Ashley that prize even though she hadn’t earned it?
Did some parent catch me in a hurry and feel slighted?
Did I buy the wrong snack or forget to put the stapler back?
Mary is a worrier because she loves people. The notion that she may offend someone hurts her deeply. The next morning, Mary arrived at the appointed time and took her seat in the pastor’s office. They exchanged pleasantries until the pastor asked “How are things going in children’s church?”
Naturally, Mary answered, “Fine!” Then she began to share with the pastor some of the highlights from the past few weeks. She began to tell how God ministered to the children in the worship service. Kids were hungry for God and they were asking questions. “One child asked about the return of Jesus so we spent a few minutes talking about that…”
“Stop right there. That’s a problem,” the pastor told her.
“You can’t teach kids about the rapture.”
“Oh, I didn’t do that. Anna didn’t ask about that. She asked if Jesus was coming back. We talked about that.” Mary smiled nervously, feeling her stomach get queasy.
“Whatever you call it, you can’t teach that. The end of the world is never an appropriate subject for children’s church.”
Mary couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She tried to explain herself. “No, pastor. I didn’t teach about the end of the world or the rapture. I didn’t even prepare a lesson. The child asked a question because she heard a song. You know the song, People get ready, Jesus is coming… that one. Then the whole class wanted to know.”
“You can’t teach that here.” For the next fifteen minutes, Mary listened in stunned silence. It never occurred to her that teaching kids about the return of Jesus would be so controversial. She’d been careful not to present it as a scary event. The kids had received it and loved hearing the news. Mary left confused, feeling as if she’d stepped through the proverbial Looking Glass.
For the next few weeks Mary prayed over the conversation. She consulted a friend in ministry, someone who did not attend her church. She read the bible over and over. In the end, my friend left the church quietly two months later. She worked out her two months notice and helped train her replacement but it was all done peaceably. Today, God has opened over doors for her and she serves in ministry in new and exciting ways.
At our last coffee, Mary seemed so happy. She confessed that she didn’t know how important the return of Jesus was to her until her faith was tried in that area.
Please understand. This isn’t a message about the rapture or the return of Jesus. It’s about standing up for what you, personally, believe. On one hand we can’t let doctrinal points cause us to fall out with our brothers and sisters but don’t give way on your core beliefs. Even if it means you have to make a change.
You can do it and you are not alone.
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.
3 thoughts on “Should You Stay or Should You Go?”
The teaching of our Lord Jesus to our children should be no different then the teaching to a adult. Look at it this way, A number of adults are having a conversation before church starts and they are speaking of the service for the day based on scripture. Let us say Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord! Now lets say a child was Listening and asks”What are the Lords plans for us? Do we not tell the child the Quote of scripture declaring “plans to prosper you plans to give you hope and a future” Now letd say the child asks what.fututer does the Lord have for us? Do we narrow down our exsplination to the child by speaking of the current life future or our eternal future? This question can only be answered in one way and that is “By Truth” Surely some may think this to be frightful to a child speaking of death,however the final conclusion is eternal life and happiness in christ.
More scripture in the Question, What do we tell a child. Proverbs3:27 Do not withHold good from those who deserve it,when it is in your power to act PROVERBS 4:2 I give you Sound learning.So do not forsake my teaching.
Like I said I could speak of the teaching of children in Christ forever.One more scripture to answer the Question” should I tell a child?” Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Hi Mimi! This really touched me about Mary’s dilemma. What would you do if your church chose to have a woman as their pastor and you believed this to be in opposition to Scripture? She is highly qualified and very effective as a pastor, and the church loves her very much, as do I, but I know what the Bible says about this. What do you think?
Of course, wisdom is necessary. Our children should be taught about the coming of the Lord. Every year, the world tells them that Santa Claus is coming and they should write letter to Santa Claus. The educational system stuff them with all sort of garbage all in the name of education. As parents, and teachers of this great gospel, we need to teach our children about the Second Coming of God. We don’t have to scare them.
A few years ago, I wanted to teach the Sunday children about human development from a biblical perspective. One of the parents, was adamant (that we should not be teaching about sex in the church). I explain to the parent that it’s not about sex, and that our children need to be equip with the Word of God so that they can combat erroneous teaching.
The parent remain stiff-necked. Thankfully, my pastor supported the lesson. Since that time, the public school system incorporate Sexual Education and is teaching all sort false things about family and sex. That same child is now learning that it’s okay for two man or two woman to have relationship.
The world equip their own.