Our Church: Little Ears, Little Hearts

Serving in Children's Ministry at City Church involves two things: time and so much heart. I have had the privilege of serving in children's ministry in a variety of ways over the years, each one with its difficulties and assured joys. As our church grows in size with adults coming through our doors, we also welcome the new faces of little ones on a regular basis–through those same doors or through birth.

In a calendar week, there might be as many as 8 to 10 opportunities to serve within City Church's Children's Ministry. Sunday afternoons during our weekly service, Wednesday mornings at our women's Bible study, and many other events throughout the week require childcare and even some planning ahead.

Children's Ministry at City Church requires a lot of work from a lot of people–between conduct training and church policies, teacher training, and even First Aid/CPR training, we do all we can to keep our kids safe in a place where they can hear the good news of Jesus in their little ears.

We care deeply about these little ones and recognize that they are as valuable to our church body and the body of Christ as any grown adult. We were once children, and we once heard the voice of God and saw the hand of God in ways that, as adults, we can't always see. Children require us to recognize our own need for our loving Father; they help us see that it's okay to be simple. Generally speaking, children (especially very young) lack the ability to understand complex concepts and to deliberate, which may enable them to see more vividly the beauty of the Living God. They may not be able to think critically, but they are able to understand a loving God.

A few weeks ago I was watching a friend's two-year old, and as I put him to bed, he asked me to a song to him–the same song he asks for every night. "Feast," he calls it. So I sang it several times over. Days later, I couldn't get the song out of my head. I found myself thinking about the lyrics and what it means to feast and to celebrate the lavish things that God has done for us.

The four-year-old son of another dear friend has been requesting "Come Thou Fount" since he started talking. As a small child, my younger brother always asked my parents to sing "Be Thou My Vision." I remember asking them why he did that–what was so special about that song?

Is that part of God's creative design in the developmental processes of children? There are so many theories about development, and all have great value. I think with children, there is always a reason why. This cannot be an accident on God's part, that they repeat things over and over, far past the point of incessant. Sing this song. Sing it again, and again, and again. You know the one.

The day comes to a close and we wipe our hands. And yet, when we walk away and get back to our regular business, these songs and words remain fast in our heads...

"Thou and Thou only; first in my heart High king of Heaven, my treasure Thou art... Heart of my own heart, whatever befall Still be my vision, o Ruler of all."

If you're interested in being part of the team that cares for, teaches, and loves City Church's youngest members, please email Jennifer Murphy at jennifer@citychurchrva.com.

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This post is the fourth in a series aimed at sharing stories across the broad life of our church, highlighting different ways people are serving–sometimes in the hidden pockets or forgotten corners. You can read previously published installments here.