Last week I heard a great sermon on Acts 6:1-7 that challenged me in my children’s ministry. Acts 6:1-7 describes a time in the life of the early church when the leaders realised they needed volunteers to look after the fair distribution of food to widows who were in need. Verse 3 (Therefore, brothers and sisters, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty) emphasises three things that helped the early church leaders choose volunteers. Firstly they picked volunteers from “among you”. That is, the volunteers were part of the church community. Secondly, they chose people “of good repute”; people where were known for their commitment to Christ. Thirdly they chose people who were “full of the Spirit and of wisdom”. As well as acknowledging God is in control, the people they chose would have been praying and trusting in God’s word. These are the kinds of things that people saw in us when we started working in children’s ministry. However, the problem is that children’s ministry volunteers are often busy people. We have the responsibilities of our ministry, of our family, and sometimes of another job. All this busyness can pull us away from these things.
- Pick out from among you – we are so busy working in children’s ministry that we stop feeling like we are part of our church community. We never get to a service, and we can be so busy before and after the service that we end up feeling distant from the community.
- Of good repute – in our busyness or as we deal with difficult situations we can be quick tempered, and our words and actions do not reflect our love for Jesus.
- Full of the Spirit and of wisdom – to get everything done we sometimes neglect the time we spend with God. Our prayers can become superficial and we read God’s word less and less. We might still give lip service to our relationship with God, praying a quick prayer or quickly reading over the bible story we are going to teach, but we stop trusting in His wisdom. Instead, we rest on our own wisdom and our own control and leave God out of our ministry.