I chuckle when I see paintings of Jesus with the children based on Matthew 19. Who do you think these pictures were drawn by? Not someone in Children's Ministry.
Children's Ministry is a lot messier than this picture portrays. Why do you think the disciples wanted to send the children away? I doubt the kids were sitting down quietly.
This picture should have a boy climbing the tree while his mother shouts for him to come down and sit still...two little girls giggling...a baby who is teething and crying...a preteen girl who is angry because her parents are divorcing...a child talking out of turn and distracting other children...a little boy filled with anxiety because his father has walked out on the family.
Jesus didn't say "Let the little children come to me if they are perfectly behaved and sitting quietly and have their Bible verse for the week memorized and come from a good family and have straight A's in school and get along with all the other kids."
The children in your ministry who don't have it all together...the children in your ministry with behavior issues...the children who say four letter words they picked up from home...the children who don't fit in with the other kids...that's who Jesus wants you to love and minister to. That's who He would be surrounded by.
May our Children's Ministries reflect a true picture of the heart of Jesus.
This post was inspired by my wife who shared this thought with our team this past week.