God’s timing is important. It’s so important that the writers of the New Testament distinguished between chronological time, chronos; and, the right time, kairos. Of course, there is much more to it than that, but you get the point. The biblical writers knew the difference between the time of day, and the opportune time.
At our small church we’re experiencing a Kairos Moment. Not a Kodak moment, but an it’s-the-right-time moment. For over 3 years we’ve been trying to get something going for children’s ministry. We tried several approaches, special events, and none of it worked. Attendance was poor, enthusiasm was in short supply, and it just didn’t happen.
But this month we’ve seen a sudden resurgence in our children’s ministry. Last fall we created a Family Ministry Team composed of young adults who were all new members of our church. Some have children, some don’t, but all of them are interested in enhancing our outreach and ministry to families.
Their recommendations were presented to, and adopted by our church this summer. This month the first of those recommendations began to take shape. They recommended a change in our Sunday School curriculum, and the addition of a younger children’s teaching time during the worship service. And on Wednesday nights, we now have children’s missions groups for all ages from preschool through elementary school.
Our Sunday School class, which we started 3 years ago for younger adults has also grown. Sunday we had a new family with three children attend both Sunday School and worship. At our annual church picnic yesterday, most of these newer members and their kids were present. They enjoyed fishing, playing with each other, riding the 4-wheelers around the farm, and just being outdoors on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
On the way back to the church on the church bus, a couple of us commented that “this is God’s timing” because all of our efforts to get children’s ministry cranking had failed previously. Our plan is to “grow up” our own teen group by starting with the children we have who in a few years will themselves be teenagers. It’s a long-term plan, but one that I can see taking shape now.
My point in all of this is that God’s timing is important. Too often we see God’s timing only in big events. But even a program like Sunday School and children’s church, or children’s mission groups, is in the Father’s hands, too. At the right time, the right people will come forward, the children will appear, and God’s providence will prove infallible again.
If you’re struggling to get a program going, don’t despair. Keep praying, keep hoping, keep dreaming of the day that God will raise up the right leaders, and things will begin to take shape. Have you had that experience? If so, share something in the comments to encourage others. Thanks.