Each year at our church my husband, the incredible Mr Tim, and I disciple a group of 6th graders. Recently, we were planning an end of the year activity with our group. In order to get a better idea of what they might like to do, we used a little reverse logic and asked, “What don’t you like to do?”
Trust me when I say we were not at all prepared when one of them said with all sincerity, “I don’t like to eat bananas in public.”
Well, ok, now.
The rest of us sort of looked at each other with one of those, “Well, where in the world did that come from?” looks when she, obviously noting our confusion, went on to say, “Well, I don’t. I don’t know why, but I just don’t.”
Readily reassuring her that nowhere in our planning was a day of public banana eating, we all had a good chuckle about it and continued our planning concluding with a plan to camp out on the church property–bananas not included.
Silly as it was, through that conversation I was reminded of a few important things about working with kids:
1) Never assume you know what is going on in a child’s life or mind.
2) Do your best to make time to listen to the children you serve.
3) Don’t forget to ask them what they like and what they think about things.
4) Laugh. Have fun. Make adventures and memories–they build trust and relationship.
5) Accept them where they are, while helping them move forward in their walk with Christ.
This week as you or your volunteers lead in your small group or Bible study times, I pray that you will learn something new about your kids, their hearts, lives, likes or dislikes and that your time together will be as sweet and refreshing as a banana (eaten at home, in private, of course!)
**On an added note, this student arrived this week to tell me that she has overcome her fear of public banana eating because of our talk in our small group time last week. Apparently, they had bananas at school and she had forgotten her lunch and was very hungry so she decided to take the chance!! Gotta love it!