LETTER FROM A MINISTER
So what has poking a sharp stick through a balloon without bursting it got to do with Easter? That was the opening of a recent assembly to get children thinking about 'the unexpected' —you expect the balloon to pop, of course, but that it does not is just a trick, whereas the unexpected resurrection of Jesus—even his disciples were stunned—is the greatest event in world history, the miracle of miracles.
A tenuous link? Well, when you have an audience of up to 400 easily-bored primary school children then you have to get their attention! When explaining the events of the first Easter, you also have to be careful to ensure you are educating them, not preaching at them. You can tell them that Jesus has had more influence on world history than anyone else—a fact—but that he rose from the dead has to be put in the context of personal belief rather than history. And, while we always finish assemblies in Primary Schools with a prayer, joining in is an option rather than an order.
Milton Keynes Bridgebuilder Trust has been taking this approach for over 20 years, looking to get children thinking for themselves about what they believe and explaining where we stand as Christians on a range of topics. Fundamentally, we are telling them we believe that God loves them and is always there for them—something they may well not hear anywhere else—and do it in a fun and engaging way. I am proud to be a Schools Worker for them.
Is this something you could do? 'Not for all the tea in China' as my old Mum would have said? Well I beg to differ. Anyone can show God's love for our children by helping at this year's CTNP Holiday Club (in Lovat Hall August 15th to 18th). There is no need to stand at the front and do the 'entertaining' bit if that is not your cup of tea, but there is a need for helpers to be with the children in their groups, just giving them your time and showing that you care for them, helping them with their craft activities or explaining something they do not understand. Most importantly, just listening can be the most important contribution of all and something we can all do to show God's love for them.
So there you are—for four mornings in August you can become a children’s evangelist. Well how unexpected is that!
(see CTNP Holiday Club 2017 and 16 for more informationn on the CTNP Holiday Club)