This picture is one of my favorite during my years serving in Saint Vincent because it illustrates the hunger of young hearts for the Word of God.
Back when bible clubs were held at church, younger children would almost always gather early and wait impatiently for me to unlock the church gate. They loved the songs, memory verses, bible stories, and occasional game. More than that they loved the attention and concern received there.
As years passed the children in this picture kept coming to bible club, but they didn’t come early, and there wasn’t as much excitement in their voice. Over time they started to come in late, and finally they didn’t come at all.
Though ministry doesn’t always work this way, I have found as young people near teenage years (usually around 11) they begin to lose interest in the things of God. It is easy to become frustrated by this, and wonder why they fall away at that age. But I prefer to thank God be thankful for those tender years, because they are precious.
There will come a day when children won’t excitedly gather around the church gate early. So I must minister to them purposefully while their hearts are still tender.