Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Children Desiring God

There are many reasons why I love my church, one of which is the children’s ministry that we have. It’s very innovative actually—they teach the Bible from infants on up. Contrary to sociology and societal norms, children respond to, and desperately need, the Bible, and I feel very blessed to hear that vision week after week.

For the next three days, I have the privilege of attending the Children Desiring God conference, sponsored by my church. The three plenary speakers will be Pastor’s David Michael and John Piper, Dr. Wayne Grudem, and C.J. Mahaney. And the theme? Standing on the Truth: How Great a Salvation. Amazing!

The overarching vision surrounding this ministry is that the next generation may put their hope in God, and they do not shrink back from proclaiming biblical truth to even the littlest ones. In a day where our churches treat our children’s and youth ministries as a form of “holy daycare”, this curriculum and conference is a beacon of great hope affirming that teaching the Bible matters.

It is my greatest joy to teach this curriculum to the toddlers at my church. In the Easter Sunday lesson we learned that “Jesus is Alive” and as I was telling the story, I was at the part where Jesus had died. To my amazement, one of the little ones screamed out, “He’s not dead, Jesus is alive!” Here is an excerpt from that lesson:

But Jesus said, “I will let them hurt me. I will not stop them. I will not get down.” So Jesus stayed on the Cross…Jesus came back! They talked with Jesus! They walked with Jesus! Jesus is back! Jesus is alive again!

There have been times where I have learned more in my times in nursery with these little ones than I have in any theology class. Every time I hear a two year old say “Only God is Big” or “God is Good”, I am reminded that God works in the hearts of toddlers, but most importantly, He is working in the heart of their teacher (me). There are no theology books or in-depth discussion in the Beginners room, just little souls, who desperately need a Savior. The deepest discussion we have is whether “my mommy bought me new shoes” or “I get a sucker for going potty in the toilet”, and occasionally we will hear a glimpse of the Spirit working in their lives, like when one little girl asked why Jesus didn’t come down from the Cross if He was God. But it is joyful and simple nonetheless, because I know that there are seeds of the Gospel being planted in their hearts that maybe will one day grow into unshakeable hope in our great God.

So, needless to say, I am really excited to spend the weekend sitting under the teaching of these great men. I’m excited to be equipped, encouraged, and to fellowship with like-minded believers. It will be a blessing to my soul, I am sure. Theology matters from the two month old to the eighty year old. And if the two year old gets it, then so can the twelve year old, and even the eighteen year old. May God be pleased to raise up the next generation to hope in God and delight in knowing their Christ.

(Steph, Andrea, and I are going to try and meet C.J. Mahaney. The excitement over him speaking has been all the buzz in our house these past two weeks! It was discussed that maybe a cake would be baked for him, but it was quickly decided that that would be a little too uncomfortable, and could be perceived as slightly unstable.)


debt said...

Courtney, you encourage me!!Keep on for the glory of God!!

andrea said...

steph, don't forget to bring your "book" just in case joshua harris comes.

cdt said...

Yes! Maybe the awkward Josh Harris moment can be redeemed!

Oh, I am so excited to go!

stephanie said...

Andrea, you are a genius.

Ditto to what Courtney said. I'm pumped.

Rachel said...

I hope you enjoyed the conference. I enjoyed it when I went two years ago. It is so neat when a child understands a nugget of God's truth. Thanks for working in nursery with them Courtney and all of you in youth group.

cdt said...

Thank you, Rachel. You are very kind. It is so encouraging when they get it. God has used the toddlers to bring great joy and comfort to me in dark times because of their simple of understanding of God's truth!