Well, we’ve been up and running here at Kidmin 1124 for almost two months now. We have been astonished and humbled by the response thus far. We really do appreciate all of your kind words and the fact that you come back day after day to read the site. It occurred to me today though, that I have never done a post to explain where the name for this site came from in the first place. There’s a brief explanation over on the About page, but I thought it warranted a post as well.
The Kidmin part it is easy. All of us who contribute to Kidmin1124 are passionate about reaching kids for Christ. We all either volunteer, or serve bi-vocationally, in children’s ministry. If you asked any of us, we would tell you that children’s ministry is a vital part of our lives and our spiritual journeys. So, why kidmin rather than children’s ministry – because it’s shorter and easier to remember.
Now for the part of our name that people find even more intriguing – the 1124. The initial group of contributors went round and round before the site launched before we finally found the “right” name. 1124 is a reference to Proverbs 11:24 which reads:
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
That is what we do. That is what we long to do. We give freely. We give our time. We give our dedication. We give our hearts. We give it all to groups of children in hopes that they might come to know Jesus Christ, accept him as their Lord and Savior and follow him throughout their lifetimes. We don’t do it for the money. We don’t do it for recognition or esteem. We don’t do it out of a sense of obligation or guilt. We do it because we love God and he has called us to teach his kids.
That is not to say that we don’t get anything for efforts. The rewards are innumerable. In John Gill’s exposition of this passage, he writes:
So he that disperses and dispenses the word of God, and spreads the truths of the Gospel, and freely and fully preaches them, increases himself in spiritual knowledge and understanding;
In working with, and teaching kids, we are pushed along in our own spiritual journey. I can personally testify to the fact that I have never learned a passage of scripture as well as when I am preparing to teach. The process of learning a passage, researching it, and finally reducing it to words that a child can comprehend tends to leave it indelibly written on your mind and your heart.
Charles Spurgeon was a big fan of children. I recently spent several month thoroughly reviewing and summarizing his book Come Ye’ Children. In that work, he writes extensively about working with kids. One of my favorite passages from that book is:
If there be any doctrine too difficult for a child, it is rather the fault of the teacher’s conception of it than of the child’s power to receive it, provided that child be really converted to God. It is ours to make doctrine simple; this is to be a main part of our work. Teach the little ones the whole truth and nothing but the truth; for instruction is the great want of the child’s nature… Blessed is he who can so speak as to be understood by a child! Blessed is that godly woman who in her class so adapts herself to girlish modes of thought that the truth from her heart streams into the children’s hearts without let or hindrance.
In working with kids, we learn more than we will ever be able to teach them. We also get to work with a group that is very special to God – his kids. We get to follow the model of our Savior as described in the book of Mark:
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. [Mark 10:13-16]
God holds a special place in his heart for kids, and the fact that he blesses us with the opportunity to teach them about Him is both humbling and daunting. I long in my heart, and plead in my prayers, for God to work in the lives of the kids I minister to, and in the end, I agree with the words of Spurgeon:
The theory is that if we can impress youthful minds with principles which may, in after years, prove useful to them, we have done a great deal; but to convert children as children, and to regard them as being as much believers as their seniors, is regarded as absurd. To this supposed absurdity I cling with all my heart. I believe that of children is the kingdom of God, both on earth and in heaven.
When done correctly, ministering to children is exhausting work. Spurgeon explains:
Nothing so exhausts a man who is called to it as the care of souls; so it is in measure with all who teach—they cannot do good without spending themselves.
Oftentimes I have exclaimed after a long day or event, that I have never been so wonderfully exhausted. I have done nothing else in my life that I have found to be as totally exhausting and totally rejuvenating all at the same time!
And, so we give, and we give freely of our time, of our love, of our effort, and of our lives. I thank God nearly every day for the privilege that he has given me to work with his children. It is indeed a great privilege and a great responsibility. And, through working with kids, God has made a better Christian and a better man. So long as God allows, I will continue to give freely to His children.
That, my friends, is why we call this little collaborative effort Kidmin1124!