One of the church’s best kept secrets is how joyful it is to serve in children’s ministry. Where some see noise and mess, I find joy. No Sunday is ever the same. That’s what makes it fun.
Last week I experienced joy in all the places. I was robed and ready to experience the joy of Holy Communion as liturgist at the early service. Then, since the weather was too rainy and cold for outdoor Wondertime with the kids, I set up the classroom for an indoor lesson on joy. But what to do with the bubble machines?
Put them by the entry doors, of course! Every once in awhile a bubble would float in when the doors were opened. Joy began to grow from the smiles on people’s faces as they came to worship. Right before the second service I was asked to hold one of the babies being baptized. Yes! What a joy and privilege to welcome this young on to the church.
Then, wearing my fruit of the Spirit hat, we led the children out of the sanctuary to the classroom where we read When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner. “I wonder where you see joy?” I asked. “Puppies! Hawaii! My family!” Kids know where to find joy.
Then we did bubble painting! Was it messy? A little. Was it unpredictable? For sure. Was it joyful? Absolutely.
Because joy is related to gratitude, according to Brene Brown’s research, we ended with a movement prayer inspired by a mealtime prayer by E. Rutter Leatham.
May God fill you with peace and joy that by the power of the Holy Spirt you may abound in hope. (a paraphrase of Romans 15:13)