Yesterday morning I spent some time helping a youth group with their VBS. I really enjoyed it because many of them were at the camp where I was a speaker a few weeks ago. It was nice seeing friends again.
As I walked to the church one of the older girls asked with a smile on her face “sir did you bring the coffee?”
She didn’t remember much about my being a counselor and preaching that week,
but she remembered I made her coffee
Since camp is exhausting I made sure to bring along some of my “American coffee” and went well above my “one pot a day” rule. Around Wednesday some of the kids told me they wanted coffee (camp does wear down your energy). So I began brewing an extra pot or two, and handed out cups of coffee to those who would drink it, I even added sugar along with coffee-mate!
By Thursday I had learned who actually liked coffee, and made sure they had a cup to start their morning.
It was a simple gesture…….
But it meant a lot to them
It’s important to remember that ministry must minister both to the head, and the heart of a person. We minister to their head through the teaching of Scripture and structure (rules to live by). We minister to their heart by acts of kindness, and fun
This doesn’t mean we minister to the heart alone, or focus on it primarily. Instead it’s best to minister to their head first with solid preaching or teaching of Scripture, and then minister to their heart by genuine interaction.
Yesterday morning I had the privilege of speaking on God’s love from Ephesians 2:1-10. Later in the morning I played dodgeball with them. After lunch some of them were lashing each other with leaves and small branches from a nearby tree.
I am honestly not sure why one of the girls lashed me with her branch, but I responded by getting four branches and chasing the children around the church yard for ten minutes (I’m too old to do it for long!)
Is lashing children with branches things a speaker usually does? Probably not
Will they remember my message on the Gospel because I played with them? Definitely
So brew that second cup of coffee, break out the coffee mate, and run in the field after screaming children
Teach them with all of your heart
but don’t forget to make ministry fun