It Only Takes a Moment
Date Published: May 6, 2020
Life is made up of a series of moments; each of them interacting with the ones before and after, intertwining to make a pattern that shapes our experiences and who we become. As adults, we often spend a great deal of time making sure we have our plans set and schedules made. We move from one event to the next, checking off our accomplishments as we go. When we were children, though, most of us just took things as they came. We didn’t know what to expect, so we absorbed all of our experiences as lessons - most of the time not even realizing we were learning.
Sunday school, children’s church, worship stories and mid-week programs are all wonderful ways to teach children how to treat others; how to have a relationship with God; how to become a quality individual. In creating our ministry programming, we mustn’t overlook the small moments that happen in between those events, though. They are great opportunities to demonstrate faith, plant a seed, whisper an idea - opportunities that may stick with your children and teach them the lessons they will use to make daily decisions for the rest of their lives.
Not everything you teach has to require a lot of effort or time. All you need is the moment you are in. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Plant a garden or plants in pots. While you are planting, tell a story “You know this reminds me of a story that Jesus told once about a sower planting seeds…”…Matthew 13:3-9
- Waiting in line or waiting for something to begin -Name the fruits of the spirit - tell what each one means. Galations 5:22-23
- If the house is hectic and there is no place to be quiet and just “be”, try the front porch. Sit quietly together and just be present. Practice listening for God and see what you hear.
- Queueing up, maybe getting in a line or exiting the pew at church - when it is your turn or if two people start to go at the same time, let the other person go first. Do it every time you are presented with the situation. Make it a habit. Let your child choose to do it themselves sometimes and wait with them. It demonstrates humility and patience without saying a word. It also shows a confidence in the fact that everyone will get their turn. There is no reason to worry. It can also be a good example of the golden rule “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
- When you are missing people you like to see regularly, use that as an excuse to pray for them. Talk about how to pray for someone else. Ask God to take good care of them, cheer them up if they are sad and to let them know how much they are cared for. If you can, take the time to make a card, draw a picture, write a note or email to let that person know you are thinking of them. Maybe they will send something back!
Every moment doesn’t have to be a lesson. Just enjoying each other’s company is a great way to have a positive influence on the children in your life. Don’t miss the simple opportunities as they come along!