I was driving this morning and a song came on called “I wanna go back” by David Dunn. The lyrics resonated with me as he sang, “I wanna go back to, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so”. He refers to a simple Sunday school song, one I used to sing in Sunday school and now sing to my babies. When I started singing along it reminded me of Ms. Barnum, my kindergarten Sunday school teacher. She had a HUGE “bee hive” hairdo, which probably wasn’t even that big but as a 5 year old it was HUGE! I remember arriving at our new church that year and Ms. Barnum welcomed me, the feelings I remember were being welcomed and comforted. Ms. Barnum emphasized memorizing the bible, she made a point to make it important to us by rewarding us with gum if we could tell her the week’s verse. She would line us up and have us whisper the verse to her, so that nobody else could hear. After we said it, she slowly opened her hand to reveal the glorious goodness of “Bubble Yum” bubble gum. Oh man! I remember being so excited as I walked out of the classroom with my parents and begging them to chew what I felt to be the BIGGEST piece of gum ever!
What an amazing time, when the simplest of things would excite me, like a mouth full of watermelon “Bubble Yum.” I know some of you are asking if I remember any of the verses, not sure, after many years of saying them I don’t remember who taught me what, but I do remember the love and comfort given to me by my Sunday school teacher. We also sang, “Jesus Loves Me” every Sunday, while doing the hand motions. The song takes me back to a time that was simple, not so tiring and the responsibilities where quite less. I mean, almost non-existent, all I had to do was play, be a kid and eat candy.
Fast forward… now I get the amazing opportunity to create an environment for children to feel the same way, safe, loved and excited to learn about the bible. We get to sing simple songs about the love of Jesus and giggle about funny things. It’s my turn, it’s my turn to be like Ms. Barnum. I am so proud to step up and be like her, to show the love of Jesus to children in my church. To come to church knowing that I get to pass on something beautiful to beautiful children, lights up my day. When the prep work as a director of Children’s ministry gets heavy and sometimes “day to day” I think, I wanna go back to “Jesus loves me this I know”, reminding me that children like things that are simple and they want to feel that love Jesus gives me to pass on to them.
I say try it out, sing that song out loud and do the motions, if you remember them, and see if you get a huge smile and a warmth in your heart. Then think to yourself, how can I pass on the love of Jesus to children? How can I go back to that time of simplicity? I urge you to serve in your church’s children’s ministry, it’s full of those opportunities to “go back” and to teach the love of Jesus. Personally I don’t remember all the bible verses or stories I learned but I remember the love and acceptance my Sunday school teachers gave me. Thank you to all those who serve our kiddos, to those who make the simple things SO great that we sing songs about those moments when you led us through simple songs. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for instilling in me the passion to pass it on.
Quail Lakes Baptist Church has a variety of ministries for everyone, young and old.