Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Greatest Reward

My mom was a children's ministry director, and I started working with kids as soon as I hit sixth grade. I loved leading worship songs and running the welcome time with my friend in our church's fours and fives class. Looking back, I'm amazed by what the teacher gave us 11 year olds the freedom to do. I always knew I wanted to lead children's ministry someday-when I was old, had kids and knew what I was talking about. I never thought it'd be possible to take over a 300-kids-a-week ministry at the age of twenty-four. I'm so thankful, though, for God showing me that He could use me now. I'm also thankful for the trust that my church's leadership has in me, and the rest of the church as well. But even more than that, I'm thankful for the opportunity to show the young girls I work with from week to week that God can use them when they're young-they don't have to wait years to be of service to Him.

A few weeks ago I had the time to observe the worship in Bridge 45. I can't even begin to describe how much joy it brought me to see two of our fifth grade girls on stage, confidently leading motions without any help from adults. Their moves perfectly mimicked mine from the past few years. I love that they didn't have any reason to hesitate in jumping on stage. They didn't have any cause to think that they were too young or unskilled.

One of our kindergarten girls was so painfully shy when she was in our preschool classes that it was a rare occasion for the drop off time to happen without tears. She's been more confident as a kindergartener, but still won't talk to me unless it's a whisper in my ear. Last week I asked during worship if anyone wanted to come up and pray. She raised her hand, and in front of 40 of her peers, prayed confidently into the microphone. Later that week I heard that she told her mom, "I want to teach at church like Teacher Jill."

Seeing kids enter into a personal relationship with the Lord is the greatest possible achievment anyone could have in ministry. But I also know that on a personal level, seeing young followers of Jesus realize that ministry isn't limited to a specific age group is my greatest reward. I love that the kids I serve each week know that they don't have to wait until they're old and know what they're talking about to be in ministry.


Robyn said...

Inspired as always...

Jill Nelson said...

Thanks Robyn!

Empty Nesters said...

Warms my heart. Yes, God uses us even when we have no idea what's in store for the future! His plans are ALWAYS so much bigger than we can imagine! Just think if God had handed you a paper and said write down what you want or think you want to do for My Kingdom....after writing your thoughts, He would hand it back and say, "Oh, but I have so much more than that planned!" Waiting of tip toe to see His plan unfold.

Sony Style USA