A little miracle happens almost every Sunday morning in the Miller house.
It’s been happening for a while now, and sometimes it still catches me off-guard.
It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s a big deal to us because it’s the only time it happens during the week.
Every Sunday morning, my daughters, 8 and 5 years old, get up early, get themselves dressed, brush their hair, and meet me in the kitchen, ready to eat breakfast.
The other 6 days of the week? Not so much. Sometimes they lie in bed till we pull them out or throw the covers off, start counting, or until they’re ready to get up. Even when they’re ready to get up, it can be a slow process for them to get up and head downstairs to the land of the living. But not on Sunday. They’re up and at ’em. Last Sunday, it was by 6:52am!
Why are they up so early? Because they can’t wait to get to church! But not just because of their friends, teachers, and fun worship songs. That all plays into the experience, but after a long day at church, when we get into the car to drive home, the part they can’t stop talking about is the opportunities they had to serve!
On Christmas morning, my girls slept till 8:30. On Sundays, they rarely sleep past 7:00. How did this happen? I’ve been wondering that a lot lately, and I’ve nailed it down to a few things…
My wife is a major contributing factor to our kids’ expectancy each Sunday. On Saturday nights, we prepare for church by getting a good night’s rest. The kids go to bed by 8:00pm, but not without some prep for the next day. Jenn helps them pick out clothes for the next morning, set out their Bibles, journals and pens, and pray for the next day. Last Saturday they prayed that more people would come to church this week than last week and that people would put their faith in Jesus. Both of those things happened!
The Awaken Kids team leads with expectancy in all that they do. My girls join in on team prayer before the day gets started, asking God to move among them.
Another thing that fuels our kids’ desire to serve is by watching Jenn and I. We give our all on Sundays and come home exhausted…but we love it! My girls pray for me every Sunday and can’t wait to come early to church with me. I mistakenly thought that when my wife stepped back from full-time worship leading that I’d have the ride to church on Sundays to myself. I was wrong. And I’m glad I was. They’re not a distraction to me. They get me even more amped up for the day as we cruise to church together.
Everywhere I look at our church, my girls have such great examples to follow. Adults and kids of all ages are holding doors, preparing lessons, leading worship and so much more.
Another thing that fuels their expectancy and desire to serve is the excitement of answered prayer. Jenn and I pray with our girls about lots of things, but we try to never let an answered prayer pass by without some celebration. And you should see their eyes! When I told them last Sunday during lunch that more people came on Sunday than had come in the last 4 months, and that 2 girls gave their lives to Jesus, they lit up! The opportunities to serve are a privilege because they get front row seats to see God move.
Awaken Kids is all about excitement. The energy level is through the roof, which is how it should be. Church should be one of the highlights of the week. After all, if we serve the living God, how we serve, worship and live should reflect that!
One more thing: my girls don’t teach the Bible, play a guitar during worship, balance budgets or run a ministry team. The tasks they have as “Junior Assistants” are preparing snacks, holding doors and greeting people…and they love it. It’s a great reminder for all of us that every task is important and that everyone can do something. Don’t wait around for your “big break” if you’re not willing to do anything in the mean time. If you’ll be faithful with small things, God will trust you with more when the time is right.
My prayer for this upcoming generation is that the tide begins to turn when it comes to serving.
I’m so thankful to serve at a church where our kids team puts so much effort into what they do. They’re changing my kids and many others! I pray that when this generation of kids goes out to plant churches in 20-30 years, that they have the opposite problem that churches today often face. I pray that they are so overwhelmed with people who want to serve that they have to make up new positions for people to fill. The harvest is indeed plentiful (Jesus said so Himself), so imagine if the laborers were also plentiful!