As an employee of a non-religious child-care organization, I began to think about how I could minister to children and families while not breaking the law or jeopardizing my position. Through the course of my employment I have had many thoughts on this subject and decided to put them to writing.
To those who find themselves in this situation, 1 Timothy 4:16 comes to my mind:
“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you willensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” NASB
Look at how many organizations have instilled Christian principles into their work ethics and conduct. Things such as treating the customer fairly (golden rule), honesty in all situations, the list goes on! Even the government has some of the Ten Commandments as some of their laws! Do not murder? We can teach children that! What about do not lie? I think so. The list can go on, go ahead and make a list of the principles you live by that are Christ-centered and God-honoring. How many of those can you teach to children without mentioning Jesus? So if we follow 1 Timothy 4:16 and pay close attention to ourselves and what we teach children, will it go unnoticed? No.
So now that the principles are instilled into the children we are working with, how does the Gospel and the name of Jesus enter the children’s hearts? Leave it to God. God’s plan for that child may have started with you teaching that child how to act Godly. A seed was just planted into that child’s life! Now what happens when God brings the next person into that child’s life and Jesus is presented to them in a real way, and when they realize they have already been living a lifestyle that Jesus approves of and wants for them, how much easier would it be for that child to come to know and accept Him than if he had to change his entire life?
We can also minister to the parents, we may not be able to mention the name of Jesus around the children, but in conversation with the parents we can talk about anything. I wouldn’t recommend approaching a parent and saying, “Your child needs Jesus!” as that creates a hostile environment and still has the potential to jeopardize your job or other positions held. But simply building a relationship and talking to the parents daily brings a new aspect into play: trust. When the parents trust you you’ll get to know more about them and they’ll get to know more about you. What a great ministry opportunity that presents!
Remember the acronym that many of us had heard and maybe even sometimes ignored. P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens! If we really want to see God impact and meet children we need to pray for them, even the ones we find testing our patience. We can’t do it on our own or else we are impacting and meeting those children and not God.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear other’s approach on this subject.