What is Your Purpose?

~By Julie Chatfield, Children’s Ministry Director

What do a pair a pumps, slippers and Nike running shoes have in common? My purpose on Sunday as Director of Children’s Ministries of course.  Sundays are my longest day of the week.  A hot cup of coffee and creamy oatmeal begin the morning before I’m dressed in my pumps and Sunday best.   On the road I pray for a smooth day, rehearse for the worship announcements, and upon arrival exchange a cheerful greeting with those setting out goodies for our parishioners and guests.  The classroom doors are then unlocked and supplies set as I review the lesson.  Most importantly the Bible point for the Children’s Story during worship must be solid in my mind.  It’s rehearsed one last time.  Never under estimate a child’s heckling skills.  Last week during the story time we talked about Communion.  When the communion bread was displayed their eager little fingers reached for a piece, distracting my vibe.  Thankfully this public moment in front of adults was short lived as next Kids Worship began.  I ran back to the Kids Zone following their pace in my pumps, gladly sliding into my slippers before the lesson began.  Kids opened their Bibles to read the scripture aloud, not missing a beat as they discovered that the couple Isaac and Rebecca were cousins.  A brief yet truthful discussion ensued on how cousins could possibly be married.   Then kids head back to their parents, finally able to partake in the body and blood of Christ.  The 9:30 service ends.  The pumps are back on and I deliver the announcements and lead the liturgy for the 11:00 service.   

Once morning worship is complete and the parishioners gone, the building is locked and I’m relieved to feel the fuzzy warmth of my slippers again.  After the active morning it is a sacred time of eating lunch in the quiet and stillness of the place.  There is email to check  and routine tasks to complete but God is present.   At 3:15 prep for 45s begins, our 4th and 5th grade pre-youth ministry.  I change into shorts, a funky 45s shirt and then PHHEEWW!   Time to tie on my Nike running shoes.   The indoor basketball hoop, the air hockey and foosball tables, paints and model magic, set.  The lesson baskets used by my beloved volunteers now friends, also set.  I pray.  I am set.  Everyone arrives.   

We start 45s with a game of kickball using a ball that’s half the kids size.   The bigger the better and of course I join in the fun, only half remembering my age and knee injury.   Then it’s the story of Nehemiah, and we divide into small groups, discuss the lesson and recite the weeks memory verse.  A teeny tiny rubber chicken is passed, our prayer chicken which reminds the kids not to be chicken about praying.   Last Sunday my small group was all boys so obviously we ended early.  It was a good thing my Nikes were still on because we began whacking each other with pool noodles.  To my surprise the whack didn’t hurt, but the sound was amazing.  Needless to say, my group was late for dinner.   Sunday’s are the longest day of my week.  But thankfully I have my trusty pumps, slippers and Nikes to get me through and am reminded of my purpose as Director of Children’s Ministries.  

ROMANS 8:28 We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.