GUEST POST – Panic or Paddle

I’ve been thinking lately about how God has ordered the steps of my life to follow this path of children’s ministry.  I am thankful for what He has called me to do and where He has placed me. I’m so grateful that I get paid to do what I enjoy so much.

In the early days of my career, I was thrown into a situation where it was literally sink or swim.  Just prior to graduation from college, God radically called me to children’s ministry.  It was such a shock and surprise to me. I hadn’t put much thought into becoming a minister and certainly not a children’s minister! Yet here I was, without a doubt I knew God had given me His direction.  Within 3 days, I received a call from a church in my area, asking me to consider leading their kid’s ministry. They said they had no idea why they called me, except prompted by the Holy Spirit. I had to admit to them that 3 days earlier I would have said, “no way,” but at that moment I knew God was in it. I accepted the job but within a month every children’s worker quit. They expressed they had just been hanging on until relief arrived and now admitted they were burned out.

So there I was with virtually no help and about 100 kids each week in our children’s service. I recruited a few parents to attend and help with security issues, but the program was all on me. I remember asking God, what have you got me into? It was during that time of desperation that I learned to fully lean on God. He helped me learn quickly how to teach the Word, keep kids attention, discipline effectively, build a team and, most importantly, introduce kids to an authentic relationship with God.

For some reason, He put me on the fast track of learning because He knew it would be the most efficient and effective way for me to be ready for all He had planned. There were plenty of mistakes made during those first few years with some lame skits, awful puppets, defective sound equipment, object lessons gone bad, etc. (These things still happen!) But God used every bit of it to shape my mind and heart for kid’s ministry.

Sometimes to get where God wants us to go, we just need to jump in over our heads and paddle like crazy.  He’ll be there ready to jump in and save us, if necessary, but He knows our abilities can be stretched. It’s in the stretching that we get closer to Him and His hope for our lost world.

Eric Rozean is the Children’s Pastor at New Life Church in Kearney, Nebraska

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