I have a confession to make. I sort of feel like as soon as I make it I will feel incredible guilt, but it's a fact I live with every Sunday and someone needs to know, so why not the whole world wide web? I think that's a logic leap that is only possible through blogging or twitter, but whatever.
I hate children's time.
There. I said it. Not that I hate children, that's not the case at all. I LOVE children. I love it when they come and sit in my lap during worship. I love when they run and give me hugs any time they see me. I love when they whisper in my ear when they are bored with the prayer time. (ok, so I don't always love that, but it does make me smile). I love kids of all ages. I love their questions and their answers. I love kids.
I just hate children's moment. There is no other area of life that makes me feel more inept at conversation and communication. I said once at my last church (after a children's moment that flopped) "Children's moments are like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're going to get." And it's true. You never know whether the kids will identify or give the right answers (meaning the ones that lead you to your point).
I always struggle to come up with some short, pithy, child-like story or object lesson that connects to the sermon. And inevitably, the days I feel like I have the best connection the story ends up aimed more at adults than children. Sometimes I feel like the kids are just pawns for me to better explain my point to the adults, and that doesn't feel right either.
Some of you may offer an easy fix--just ask someone else to do the children's moment--I could, but I feel bad because I am more of a last minute sermon writer and it doesn't feel fair to only give them a scripture or a theme (especially if the theme is not fully developed) or to only give someone a matter of hours to prepare. I have been working to be more prepared with sermon planning and preparation to be able to tell everyone involved in worship what the central theme is so they can design everything around it, but that has been a slow evolution for me.
So for now, I am stuck, in a sense, trying to be creative and use easy language to connect with the kids. Fortunately, our ministry fair is about 6 weeks away and there will be a possibility for people to sign up to help with children's moments and maybe that will relieve the pressure and make me get on my game with sermon prep!