Kids Church started up again today and I was so thrilled to be on rota for the first week. I always find it harder coming on rota halfway through a topic as the momentum has already built up and for me it's like opening a book halfway through or flicking over to a good film an hour in.
The children at our church are a fabulous bunch. They play well together, they listen well and they talk well - sometimes too well and it's hard to get them to be quiet. But it's their openness, honesty and limitless spirit of exposure that impresses me each time I sit with them or have them surrounding me when I speak, hand out drinks, or whatever is needed at the time.
We have a tendency as adults to overlook children. They are a significant part of God's church and we need to be mindful of their place, presence, giftings, encouragements and worries. Today we introduced the topic of prayer and in particular, The Lord's Prayer. When all the fun and games had ended we split the children into year clusters and I had an interesting conversation with three children from years 5 and 6. Having filled in a Prayer Survey together we compared our results and I was impressed at how honest these children were and how incredibly open they were and at ease explaining why they'd answered questions a certain way.
But one comment saddened me. One boy said that often he felt God didn't answer his prayers or even at times listen to them because in his words, 'I'm just small and I think he misses me out sometimes because of that'. He seemed resigned to the fact that adults got more answers and got what they wanted from God because they stood out, they have all the right words, the terminology, can stand up longer and string a good dialogue together. Adults had more need of answered prayer because their lives were more complicated, they needed more help with work, homes, running families and so on. So I reminded him of David and Goliath. How God had taken the puniest kid on the block, a shepherd who most likely had less meat on him than a scrag end of lamb, but who God saw enormous potential in. I explained that if, like David, his heart was for God and his faith was big, the size of his body was not in the equation and that he could stand next to the biggest guy in church and still be as mighty before God.