The Big Church Lie

A couple weeks ago I had a fun opportunity to spend Sunday with our elementary-aged kid’s ministry for their services, which run during our main services at 9:30, 11 & 5.

Kid’s Life is a place for 2nd through 6th grade students to laugh, play, and worship. Kid’s Life mission is to make their service, “the best hour of every kid’s week.”

Every week in kid’s church students have an opportunity to make Jesus their “forever friend.”

These kids are tons of fun.

Worship is loud and interactive. The games are silly and compelling. And the leaders are loving and attentive.

I was there a few Sundays ago to lead the kids in communion. An element of “Big Church” that we do fairly regularly that the Kid’s Life team wants their kids to experience as well.

I’ve used the terms “Big Church”, “Main Service” and “Kid’s Church” in the last few paragraphs as a way to distinguish one service from the other.

But it’s in that distinction that I believed a lie about kid’s ministry.

The terms “Big Church”, “Main Service” or “Grown-Up Church” are fine as descriptors. They are literal.

Big Church has bigger people and more people. Grown-up Church is the service grown-ups are in. Main Service takes place in the main auditorium of the building.

The lie I believed for so long was that it was the “most important service.”

No one told me this lie. I just assumed it to be true. It’s probably because of my self-centered human nature. The world revolves around me after all.

Spending just one day with those elementary-aged students helped me see Jesus in a new location. Jesus was present in the hearts, lives and imaginations of 7-12 year-olds.

“Big Church”, “Main Service” or “Grown-Up Church” are fine terms to use, but they DO NOT mean more important.

Jesus is too big to be contained in just one room of a church. He’s too wonderful to be relegated to a building period.

Jesus is doing work all the time and everywhere.

When you stop your car and help someone fix a flat, Jesus is there.

When we share in our recovery groups about our triumphs and failures, Jesus is there.

When you hold the door open, share a smile and embrace Jesus is there.

Lord help me realize wherever you are is where I want to be. No place too big, no place too small.

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

Mark 10.13-16, The Message

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