recently, i had the opportunity to get out of town and attend another church on a sunday morning.  i confess i was a bit excited.  just the thought of sitting in a service without worrying about things that could be happening in my kidmin hallway was blissful.  no one knew me, no one needed me, and i came into the sanctuary heavy laden and ready to meet with my God.  my faithful Father was right there to meet with me.

i didn’t expect God’s message and conviction to begin with the lines of the very first worship song we sang.  it was matt redman’s “heart of worship” and the line, “i’m sorry Lord for the thing i’ve made it,” hit me like a ton of bricks.  then they came, tears.  and after the tears came a time of worship, self-examination, confession, Bible study, and prayer that would hopefully renew and reshape my approach to children’s ministry from that point forward.

this last year in ministry has already been one of examination.  with all the new trends in kidmin, my head was left spinning and my heart aching for more of the ONE that mattered most – JESUS.  i spent the summer with an amazing team of volunteers combing over our children’s ministry and seeking the heart of God His direction in the coming year.  it was productive and we made some exciting, unique changes, but i still felt there was more to be done.  the second step (which probably should have been the first) was made clear to me this day as i sat–a stranger in this sanctuary, but as one known well by my Father.  He knows my heart better than anyone and He revealed to me that it was time for a check-up.

“i’m sorry Lord for the thing i’ve made it.”  these words kept coming back to me, over and over again.  what have i made of the children’s ministry that He has so graciously entrusted me to serve for well over a decade?  have i made it about creativity?  have i made it about fun and excitement?  have i made it about whatever was easiest?  have events been my focus?  have i just barely made it, hoping week-to-week to just get by?  and the hardest question to broach–just how much have i made it about me?  as He gently broke me and spoke to me in that service, i knew what had to happen next.

we had spent the summer looking at the ministry nuts and bolts, but now it was time for me to look at my heart and to encourage my kidmin team to do the same.  does my heart beat passionately for my Savior and is it my ultimate goal to make Him and His life-changing Word known to these children and families each week?  do i seek Him so devotedly that my words, actions, and attitude reflect the glory of the Lord?  do i honestly count it a privilege to serve each week, or do i complain more than i praise Him for the opportunity?  do my tweets, blog posts, facebook posts, etc., bring attention to me or to the One who is and is to come?  do i commit precious time in His Word so that i am filled to overflowing and have plenty to pour out on those that He puts in my path?  many questions, but let’s just say, if my answers to these questions made up a report card, my grades wouldn’t be so great.

i think it is just easier to get by, and all too often, that’s what i choose.  why do i settle for lazy mediocrity when i serve a God of abundance? i am tired of stepping timidly to avoid the disapproval of man, when God may be calling me to take bold, unpopular steps.  so what if the next steps are unconventional or more difficult?  isn’t He worth it?  i know in my head that He is, but only my obedience will prove whether or not i truly believe it in my heart.

even as i type this post, i realize i have already allowed hardness to creep into the spot He has gently softened.  so, in many ways, this post may be more for me than anyone else.  i need to be held accountable, because deep within my heart i long to be all that God intends for me to be.  i don’t want to waste another moment in the mediocrity.  so, to those i serve alongside, i confess that my heart needs a check-up and i covet your prayers.  to my faithful friends that surround me, i thank you for being the iron that He uses to sharpen me.  keep pushing me and asking me the hard questions!

bottom line – i don’t want to steal any glory from the One who deserves all the GLORY!  i will continue this heart check-up until the day He returns, in hopes of one day hearing, “well done good and faithful servant.”  it really is all about Jesus, and i am truly sorry for all the things i’ve made it.

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