The Wherefore of Teaching

Oh mercy, thank you for reading this. Sometimes I just want to make noise and hop about, and those don’t translate very well into blogs. And especially not into blogs specifically for the task and honor of keeping my supporters in prayers and finances up-to-date on WHAT they are supporting.

Today is story Thursday, so today you get to learn about what I do with my time at the internships.

For starters, my title is: Kidstuff Childcare Intern. Which makes most people think of this:

Which is partly true. I do watch kids sometimes. But my primary responsibilities are

  • To staff and prepare all childcare events put on by the Austin Stone, including but not limited to:  Recovery, 7pm Sunday service, Tuesday Mom’s group, and First Tuesday prayer service.
  • To assure the quality and safety of each of these events and, unless absolutely impossible, to oversee them personally.
  • On a far smaller scale, to help connect those willing to provide families with personal childcare with those needing it, and finally
  • TO PLAN LESSONS FOR THE EVENTS!

Why is that so exciting? Becuase it has  never happened before. In our however-many years as a ministry, KidStuff has never had the bandwith to turn “childcare” services into times when kids walked away having heard the Gospel.  They were safe, happy, entertained, and loved on. But they were not taught a Gospel Lesson.

So I got hired as a full time intern to make sure that EVERY child who comes to ANY event associated with The Austin Stone will either learn a Gospel lesson or, if they are too young (under two is the round-about cut off) are prayed over during the event.

A quick story of why this is so important.

STORY THURSDAY

A few weeks ago, a child (let’s say a 3rd grader named Tommy, although it wasn’t, for the sake of anonymity) at the 7pm service was really unresponsive during the lesson. (And I teach pretty fun at the 7, since the kids are pooped by that point.) I asked Tommy to participate but he not-too-politely declined. I said that was okay, and proceeded on with the rest of the class, since Tommy wasn’t disrupting. I assumed he was just tired and “too cool for school.”

But during the after-lesson movie, Tommy asked to go get a drink form the fountain. Walking down the hall, I asked him if he usually came to the morning services.

“No. I’m not a Christian. I don’t got to church.”
“Oh. Pardon me. So how did you get here today?”
“My relative’s friend brought them, and I had to come.”
“Oh. Well, what is your religious view?” (Kid was pretty smart, this is appropriate vocab for him.)
“Uhm, nothing. I don’t have one.”
“So what do you think of Christianity?”
“Nothing. I don’t know anything about it, so I don’t have an opinion.”

At that point we were back to the classroom, so I let him go back in and finish the movie. But I was dumbstruck.  I have this tendency to FORGET that some kids will only ever hear about Jesus if they hear it with us. That we have the amazing opportunity to  make a difference, to be used by God in the life and heart of  a little one who doesn’t yet know Him.

I was instantly SO grateful for the lesson we’d taught that night: the fall (from the Jesus Storybook Bible) of man – WITH the promise of Jesus and why we have hope. So I know Tommy heard the Gospel! (For how can they know if they have not heard?)

But…since there are kids like Tommy, that’s why it’s important that we have an intern like me. So that’s what I do with most of my time, I figure out how to teach lessons catered to a wide range of kids, with a wide range of ages, at a wide range of events, in such a manner as to make disciples who live to love and be loved by God and represent the supremacy of the name and power of Jesus Christ.

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