By Lydia Kaiser
One thing that was made abundantly clear during COVID restrictions, is that when we don’t have the opportunity to connect with others, we suffer. Why is that? Because we were made in the image of God, our desire for relationship reflects His desire for relationship. And as much as we love our families, we desire more and varied relationships.
I’m so glad God wants to have a relationship with each one of us. He doesn’t NEED us, but He WANTS us. Since He is a trinity, He has enjoyed loving relationship forever within the Trinity and it was all He needed. But, because He has so much love to give and capacity for more relationship, He has included us in the relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What a wonderful gift!
We are unsatisfied until we enter that relationship. And then we still need to realize all that we are and have in relationship with Him or we remain unsatisfied and look elsewhere for what only He can give us. The COVID situation has driven many people to God because they didn’t have the opportunities to satisfy their desire for relationship with other people.
All this might sound a little deep, but it’s not something children can’t understand. I’d encourage you to talk to the children you have contact with and ask them how they’re doing with the limited contact. Use the opportunity to point out what this teaches us about being created in the image of God, and what it shows us about God Himself, that He’s relational too, and how much we need Him. And because He is infinite, He can have a great relationship with every single person who draws near to Him. And because He made us to have relationship with Him, we are unsatisfied until we have it. After what we went through with social distancing, kids can understand our need for relationship better than ever.
We’re all looking forward to things getting back to normal at church and schools, when we can have Sunday School, small groups, Children’s Church and after school clubs. Until then, we need to do something better with our time than binge watch TV. There’s something you can do to help yourself and others in your church become better equipped for future children’s ministry. That something, is teacher training. There’s a couple ways you can do this.
One is to call your nearest Child Evangelism Fellowship office and see what courses they have to offer. Many local CEF directors are offering Zoom-type training. You can have a discussion about your needs, and choose from among a variety of trainings. Topics include how to give an invitation for salvation, how to counsel a child for salvation, how to teach a Bible lesson, classroom management, how to effectively teach a verse, and many others.
If a local chapter offering doesn’t work for you, you can take online courses from Children’s Ministries Institute. Those can be found at CEFCMI.com. CMI has a great online learning management system. You can register in just five minutes and then access all kinds of free and paid course with various levels of difficulty. CMI has articulation agreements with several colleges which will accept classes for credit. Some of the best introductory courses are Understanding Today’s Child, Leadership Essentials, and Teaching Children Effectively Level 1. A free course is the Romans Road for Children. Find a friend to do a course with you, as extra encouragement and accountability.
If you’re not up for the longer courses, there are free seminars which are much shorter. Seminar topics include such things as understanding kids at different age levels and special needs, and training on how to use the Wordless Book, which is a great evangelistic tool.
The most valuable thing you can do with your life is to teach a child about relationship with God.