God’s Beautiful Children (and Volunteers) by Robert Payne

Robert Payne2Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great milestone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

—Matthew 18:5-6  

Hey Guys, my name is Robert Payne. I am currently serving as an intern at Andrews United Methodist Church. My role throughout my sophomore year has been a children’s teacher. The first thing I can say about that is I never thought I would be there. In the first conversation I had with Pastor Mary, I told her that I really would enjoy working with middle school-aged and high school-aged students. When she told me I would be working with kids, I really didn’t know what to think. I had gotten some experience in the previous summer, but other than that, I thought it wasn’t for me. However, I am reminded of Matthew 18. Jesus scolds his disciples because they don’t allow them to come to him. I can truly say that I understand the importance of teaching the children.

As I have found out through my year so far at Andrews UMC, children are truly a blessing in the church. Pastor Mary has a wonderful part of her service where she sits the children down and gives them a lesson that pertains to the sermon that she gives to the adults. Children are a key part of a church because they represent the future of the church. They are loud and like to make their presence known to the people, but they also love God in such a way that only they can. Their love is untainted, without judgment, and not based simply off what they can get out of it, as much of culture would value today. In some churches, children aren’t given a strong program, and the church will focus more on the adults. While the adults should not be neglected, I have come to understand the importance of giving children the knowledge of the Bible.

Another thing I have learned about children’s church is how awesome a volunteer can be. In my conversations, I had heard how much the children said they liked me. I know that this would not be the case if I had to teach them alone. The volunteer gives a second adult in the room so that whoever is teaching can help keep control of the room. I have had a couple of volunteers help me, but one who had helped me the most is Mrs. Dusty. She used to teach school and has a lot of experience in education, in general. I have received good feedback that helps me perform my role as an educator for the children. I truly say that teaching is a team effort.

Lastly, I would like to thank God specifically for the children whom I have been blessed to teach. This might seem a little corny, but the children at Andrews UMC have really just shown me a new side to learning about God. There is a girl named Kinley, who is just absolutely fascinated with learning about the details of the Bible. She isn’t the only one. Many of the children come in each week and can tell me the story to a certain degree. It warms my heart watching kids remember details about the story that many people my age seem to miss. Those are the details that really make the story came alive. I have just been so blessed to be able to teach the children at Andrews United Methodist Church.

May God continue to bless you all.

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