Last week I was visiting with some children when their father pulled me aside. He explained that the kids absolutely loved my Bible studies, and asked if it was possible to help them in another way. Two of them were in desperate need for extra help with school, specifically their reading.
In that moment I knew the Lord wanted me to make a change from discipleship studies to a reading help ministry
Many of the young people here are in need of tutoring and practice with their basic language skills. Sadly they cannot receive this personalized help in school because the classrooms are so large, and some cannot get it at home since their parents struggle reading as well.
Before Covid the Lord allowed me to volunteer for a few years with reading groups once or twice a week at local schools. It was amazing to see how much these groups of boys grew as we practiced phonics, learned sight words, and practiced reading.
I can remember one boy was VERY shy about his reading but over time grew more and more confident with practice. One Monday morning he finished reading from a book, and the other boys all on their own applauded. I wish you could have seen the huge smile on his face!
The conversation with that father along with prayer has re-ignited the passion in my heart to help children with reading.
But that means a big change must take place
Currently I do Bible clubs with three groups of children in the community. This reading program calls for me to deal with only two or three kids who have special needs instead of larger groups. Of course this also means switching to an emphasis on phonics instead of Scripture.
It would be easy to just keep doing what I’m doing…….
but in ministry you need to find what works
Not all ministry activities are blessed by God! The Lord will often open, and close doors of ministry as he sees fit. When this happens the temptation is to fight the plan of God and continue doing what we are comfortable with, yet this won’t be blessed by God. Instead we must be willing to let go of the ministries that the Lord is closing the door to, and embrace the new opporutnities.
It is difficult to step away from something already established for a new ministry
But meeting a genuine need in the community is better than just doing the same thing