By Barrett Vanlandingham
Even after directing Junior Camp with a bunch of third- through fifth-graders this past week, I can honestly say that there is something extra refreshing and inspirational about children.
During our worship time, we sang a song with these lyrics: “Holy Lord, most holy Lord, You alone are worthy of my praise. O holy Lord, most holy Lord, with all of my heart I sing. Great are you, Lord! Worthy of praise! Holy and true, great are You, Lord, most holy Lord.”
Whether you know the tune of the song is not important. But I will say that I have sung this song probably hundreds of times, and the only two times that tears have actually come to my eyes is when I have heard children sing it by themselves with no adult voices. This was the case at Junior Camp. Of course, there were more missed notes without the adult voices to guide them, but that didn’t matter. It was almost as if we were listening to baby angels praising God. What a blessing.
Yes, children are high maintenance. Yes, children can be annoying. (Weren’t we all?) But for some reason, hearing them sing praises to God at the top of their lungs makes children’s ministry all worth it. They are not worried about what anyone else thinks of them. They are not worried about saying all of the words correctly or hitting all of the notes perfectly. They just sing and offer pure praise, and God just listens to their hearts, just like He listens to ours.
They have their whole lives ahead of them, so much potential. And already they minister to adults daily without evening knowing it. God is so good.
Jesus held a special place in his heart for children. Remember this passage in the New Testament book of Matthew?
“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 19:13-14)
Whether we remember it or not, we’ve all been children. Sometimes we forget that in God’s eyes we are still children in many ways, stumbling and making mistakes on a daily basis. But one thing is for sure. As Christians, God is our Father, He is always there for us, guiding, comforting, giving, and forgiving as we repent.
May God bless each of us with the sincere desire to be innocent and pure like little children. Have a great week!