This past fall our church made the decision to hire one of our own as a full time children's minister. I'm thrilled about the decision since my two are at the magical age where they are EXCITED to learn about God's love.
Along with her main goal of teaching about The Fruits of the Spirit, one goal she has had is to really make the children comfortable with the church service. Right off the bat each Sunday school class learned The Lord's Prayer and I just LOVE how each week Jay peeps up and me and grins because when we say it he can join in. I'm sure memorization of the Apostle's Creed and some of the short songs within the service will be coming up next.
I say all of this to share another new way she has incorporated the children...the ringing of the bell to start service.
This past Sunday was Jay and Betsy's turn and let me tell you they were EXCITED. They talked about it ALL week! Typically when the bell rings it is a background noise. It is rang by one of the ushers...methodically and seriously. I'm usually talking to someone when it rings and I hear it, but it doesn't typically GRAB me.
When the kids ring it the TONE of the service is different. The doors to outside are swung open wide and the bell rings fervently, unabashedly. You hear giggling and you can FEEL the excitement. It's almost as the tone/voice of the bell is different...like she is crying out how HAPPY she is to be rung by children.
It reminds me of Luke 18:17 Remember this! Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
After the service several people came up to me and said, "We could hear your two giggling as they rang the bell. It was a beautiful sound, so joyous!" The bell made this so clear to me: Aren't we reminded in Luke to approach God's house...and God's kingdom...as a child?... Giggling...Fervently...Unabashedly...with JOY!