I was reading in Hebrews last week and this verse jumped off the page to me, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God…” (Hebrews 12:15). My first thought was one of conviction, wondering how many people had missed an opportunity to experience the grace of God because I failed to express it. That made me sad. My second thought was one of motivation, thinking about how many opportunities we have, as parents and volunteers in children’s ministry, to “see to it that no one misses the grace of God.” No one – no child, no parent, no volunteer – missing out on experiencing a piece of who God is through us. That energized me.
As parents it’s so easy to get consumed and even overwhelmed with the logistical task of parenting – getting everyone to the right place at the right time with the right clothes on (hopefully clean) and ready to behave in the right way. It’s a lot to manage. While there is nothing wrong with any of that, it is easy to lose sight of our real mission. “What is our real mission?” you might ask. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says it pretty clearly, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength…Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” That’s what it’s all about – giving our kids a picture of what it’s like to love and be loved by God in such a way that they want to be His friend and follower, too. Parenting is about leading our kids to Jesus, showing them the grace of God. That’s where every other need they have will be met – self-esteem, work ethic, right choices, caring for others – everything.
As those serving in children’s ministry in a local church, we, too, can lose focus of our mission. Ours is simply to help parents with their mission – to remind them of the mission, to encourage them that they can do it, and to partner with them every chance we get to love and teach their kids. In other words, showing them the grace of God. Sunday School, Kids Church, Royal Rangers, Girls Ministry, small groups, etc. is all about creating a desire in kids for a relationship with a gracious Jesus. We want kids to want what we’ve got. And don’t underestimate the value of an encouraging word to parents. I’ve had moms break down in tears when I told them how much we enjoyed their sons and daughters, how they demonstrated kindness, or were engaged in worshipping Jesus. Take advantage of every opportunity to express God’s grace.
So let’s readjust our sights, realign our missions, and “see to it that no one misses the grace of God” – not on our watch!
Dr. Ellen (Eby) Moore serves as the Consultant for IPHC CHildren’s Ministries, as well as the Children’s Pastor at The Ark Church, in Conroe, Texas. An Oklahoma native with a rich IPHC heritage, Ellen earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Oral Roberts University after receiving her undergraduate and masters degrees in Education from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). After years in public and private education she now enjoys serving kids, parents, and volunteers in her local church by creating environments where kids are connected to Jesus and encouraged and equipped to follow and serve Jesus for the rest of their lives. Ellen is convinced that God has incredible plans for every child’s life right now, not just for when they grow up, and they are changing the world. Ellen has been happily married to her childhood sweetheart, Phillip, for over 25 years, and they’re about to enjoy the “empty nest” as both of their children, Joshua and Meagan, will soon be in college. When she has free time, you’ll usually find her in the kitchen.