South Jeff Family,
Sometimes as the American church, I think we take God’s holiness too lightly. We strive to be like the people around us, adopting their teaching methods, values, and hierarchal structures. This past month, as I have read 1 Samuel, I have felt the weight of God’s holiness, and I have been reminded that we, too, should be “set apart”.
The first time I began thinking about this was when I read 1 Samuel 5:4, “But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon [the Philistine idol], fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.” God makes fun of the Philistine idol by breaking its hands and feet. He is pretty serious about people recognizing that he THE Almighty God.
This holiness is shown not only outside of Israel, but also within. When the people of Beth Shemesh look into the ark, they are stricken down. How grateful we should be for the New Covenant, which allows us to approach the Throne without fear.
In 1 Samuel 8:5, the people demand a king because they want to be like all the other nations, and in 1 Samuel 8:7, God tells Eli that Israel is rejecting Yahweh (the Hebrew name for God) as their king, There is a human desire to be like the people around us, and to have at least as much prestige, money, and power as they do. I have questioned how many times we have sacrificed being set apart or holy so that we can be like the people around us.
So what does holiness look like in children’s ministry? Well, I’m glad you asked. It does not mean making everything dreadfully boring or intentionally not being like the world around us simply for the sake of being different. While fun and Gospel are not mutually exclusive, it does, however, mean that we choose teaching the Gospel over fun if one has to be sacrificed. It means choosing to glorify God when things go well rather than taking credit. It means praying over each child and each time our doors are opened. So with that, I want to ask you to pray for us. Pray that leaders and students will choose holiness. Pray that leaders will step up to encourage kiddos to follow Christ when it’s hard, and will demonstrate what it means to be in love with Jesus even when everyone else around us walks away. Pray that families will be impacted by what God is doing in us and through us.