My ministry report for January 2013 includes the following:
I was in two sword fights, made a tent out of blankets, played “Star War Legos”, lost three games of “Sorry,” “Candyland,” and “Hedbanz,” and slid down a hill on an “American Flyer” way too fast, which ended poorly when my sled stopped suddenly and I did not, smashing my face against the ice. (My nose is still swollen.)
Why, you may ask, would a 55-year-old man play “Candyland” and sled down a hill on a bitterly cold day? It is because children matter to God. Of all my ministry activities this past month I believe that the events involving the children in my life were among the most significant.
I have often wondered what was going through the minds of disciples when they tried to keep the children away from Jesus. Did they think that Jesus couldn’t be bothered with children? Did they see the children as unimportant or a disruption to Jesus’ ministry?
Adults forget what it was like to be a child. C.S. Lewis said of adults, “They are forgetting what boyhood felt like from within.” Who can forget the delight we had as children when adults showed an interest in us? The Clark children still talk of our fond memories of “Ice Cream Uncle Jim” who would give us as much ice cream as we could eat.
Jesus noticed children and showed an interest in them. My hunch is that the twelve disciples never saw children the same after being with Jesus.
- Have your disciple share his memories of the adults who had a positive impact on his life as a child.
- Discuss with your disciple the children in his life (siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, sons, daughters) and the spiritual investment he could make in their lives.
 C.S. Lewis, “Surprised by Joy”, (New York: Inspiration Press, 1987), p. 36.