Children are by far one of the great joys of being a local church pastor. I know exactly why Jesus loved to spend so much time with children–he was tired of messy around with the adults who pestered him time and time again for more and more.
Children come to their faith journey with a simple faith. Life is not complicated. Children see with eyes that see beyond the obvious–with eyes that can see God in the most unexpected places.
Last Sunday a beautiful little girl who has a hug for me every time I see her presented me with a gift. It was her “sermon notes.” It appeared that during the morning service with pencil in hand she sketched a picture of me preaching. With childlike accuracy she drew me with a Bible in my hand and a smile on my face.
Later that afternoon as I gazed at this child’s masterpiece, I realized a truth I must never forget. A lesson every leader needs to be reminded of. I was reminded that children don’t hear us as much as they experience us. They remember us for who we are not so much for what we say. It is not your words but your life’s witness that makes all the difference in their lives.
Never forget what Jesus had to say:
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6 NIV
The eyes of tomorrow’s church are fixed on you. Greet them with a hug and a smile, and show the way by every word you say, but more importantly by everything you do. A child will probably forget most of what you say, but they will never forget you.