I want to continue our series of posts about What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry with a few posts about the answers that really resonated with me. Randy Isola contributed the answer “Wonder” to the What Matters Now project. Randy is my boss, but that’s not why I’m reflecting on his contribution (I’m pretty sure he does not read this blog anyway). Randy has re-taught me what children’s ministry is all about. I say that he “re-taught” me, because before I met Randy I thought I knew everything about children’s ministry. Here’s what Randy had to say about wonder:
I believe one of the most compelling questions in Scripture is the disciples’ asking about Jesus, “What kind of man is this?” After a glimpse of his power, the disciples were driven to discover the answer. Our churches should instill that wonder in children and propel them to a lifelong adventure of finding out the truth behind that question.
When it comes to children’s ministry, we all want engaging programming, flawless theology, deep relational communities, great tools to equip parents, etc. Ultimately, we want all that so we can point children to Jesus. Sometimes we do that by giving answers, other times by raising questions. I wish that children would always leave churches with answers and questions, with a sense of wonder and amazement at the person and work of Jesus. I hope that our ministries help children encounter Jesus in such a way that multiple times throughout the week they will, with a sense of wonder, ask themselves the question, “Who is Jesus?”
I pray that every child influenced by children’s ministries everywhere will wonder so fully, so deeply, so passionately that they embark on a quest to know, “Who is Jesus?”
This answer resonated with me because I’ve been reading Exodus lately. And even a cursory look at Exodus will reveal the word “wonder” several times. The source of wonder was simply God’s unique power. It got me thinking along the same lines as Byron Ragain’s contribution – how hard will I work to perform wonders among children? Many times I try to do wonders – through programming, creative teaching, or resources. Do my efforts direct and guide children to experience the wonders of their powerful God? As Exodus 15:11 says, “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” There is simply no one like our God of wonders. All my work should point to Him!