Sunday, June 2, 2013

Are we giving kids enough?

I recently found myself having a conversation about the Columbine Massacre, a situation that still terrifies every parent to this day. After a radio host had mentioned the Sandy Hook School shooting, my son asked a few questions and made the comment similar to this, "That stuff wasn't really bad when you were a kid, huh mom?". Of course your first instinct is to protect your child and try to explain things softer than they actually are, but I felt a need to take a breath and have a conversation about it.

I mentioned the school shooting that actually took place in the city where we live, and I grew up in 1989.  The gunman fired 106 rounds in three minutes killing five children and wounding thirty others including one teacher. While this man had a history with Cleveland school, his acts were based on hatred and racism.  I then mentioned Columbine, which both of my kids have vaguely heard of. There have been many books that have come from this tragedy that have made amazing changes in our schools regarding bullying. 

Somehow our conversation turned towards the kids who were killed, and I mentioned one of the girls that had confirmed her belief in Jesus just before she was killed.  I know that two of the girls were very strong in their faith, but specifically Cassie Bernall who had said "yes" when the gunman asked her "do you still believe in your God?" just before he killed her. 

Honestly, this was a very hard conversation to have but I am thankful for where it lead as we talked about standing for our faith, and knowing what you believe. Our conversation ended as we arrived home and our day went on.

I have returned to that conversation many times in my mind. Part of me would love to ask the parents of Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott what they did in their home to grow these two faith bound girls that stood firm that day. Maybe their pastor or youth pastor would have things to tell. 

As a leader of Children's Ministry I often worry so much about making things fun, decorations, and details, that while important, may not have eternal value. This has caused me to ask myself this question: Am I equipping kids to have a solid enough relationship with Christ that they can (and will) stand for their faith if challenged to do so? 

God's word tells us that some of us will be challenged for our faith, some even until death. While that is a massive lump in the throat to swallow, especially when we think of our kids, it is one that I think is important.  

As we watch the world we live in look more like the prophecies we read, how are we equipping the next generation to carry on the faith? And stand for it at all costs should that be asked of them?

As I run and play Bible memory games with these kids, and maybe run them through a slime machine this summer I personally plan on using teaching moments to give them tools to continue to build a solid relationship with Jesus as well as giving parents at home tools to continue that growth. 


  1. This is a thinker.

    Fun should definitely be a aspect but not the end goal. The time we have with the kids in our kidmin becomes lower and lower every year. We truly need to focus our resources on parents and become more deliberate with what we do in our kidmin.

    Kids need Jesus more than ever!

  2. Great question, Heidi! And I think the answer is that one size does not fit all. Some kids will thrive and grow based on programs. My kids have never fallen into that mold. They have thrived in their faith more by keeping the lines of communication open, much like the conversation you describe with your son. Regardless of how our children learn and grow in making faith their own, I think we parents need to be relentless in covering them in prayer and speaking Scripture into their lives. God promises us that his word will not return to him void and that he numbers the hairs on our children's heads. When we lean into the Lord, entrusting the outcome to His able care, I think we can rest fully in knowing that the outcome is capably handled.

  3. Great point! Thanks for your feedback :)