“Pointing is not always bad”

My wife Stephanie volunteers in the 4 year old class at our church. She loves teaching these guys and every week has a funny story to tell. This weekend was no exception. She was teaching her class the story of Jonah. As you are well aware, God gave Jonah a specific command to go to the city of Nineveh. Steph was trying to help her class of 4 year olds understand that Jonah disobeyed God. So she told them this, ”God told Jonah to go to Nineveh (she points to the left), but Jonah disobeyed and went that way (she points to the right). So when she was reviewing the story with the kids she asked them, “Where did God want Jonah to go?” And instead of saying Nineveh, all the kids pointed to the right and said “he went over there.” Now, just for the record, my wife wanted me to tell you that the kids did get the answer correct once she reframed the question…haha.

This story reminds me of the AWESOME privilege and responsibility God has given us as we partner with parents in the discipleship process of these kids.

It’s a great privilege in that each time we invest in these kids we are changing the landscape of eternity. It’s a great responsibility because kids pay attention to more than just our words. They watch our actions. Just like Stephanie’s class, our actions sometimes carry more weight than even our words. They saw her point and say “but Jonah went THAT way” and even though they did eventually get the answer correct, the first thing they remembered is where she pointed.  I want my actions to point kids towards a healthy relationship with the living God and I know you do to.

So here’s the tough question that must stay in the forefront of our minds. Are my actions and attitude pointing kids in the right direction? Ouch…that one hurts a little! That one question should cause all of us to follow this pattern: 

S top
T hink Think about what you are feeling and the consequences of your actions
O ptions Examine the options. The first option is usually a “Reaction.”
P roceed Now you can “respond” with confidence.

I wish I could say I have mastered this, the truth is I haven’t. But I truly want to point kids in the right direction so I will give it my best and not give up!

Comments

  1. Awesome story and reminder to all us parents and youth leaders. Thanks!

  2. You are very welcome Scott.

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