Thursday, November 17, 2011

ReGroup 2011 - healing hearts with VBS

Last week, I posted about the Heart of a Children's Minister and asked others to share as well.  At the time, I seriously meant sharing their heart by commenting on the blog post and all I heard was crickets chirping.  I wanted to get people sharing, but nothing...zilch, nada...  Felt kinda lonely... all together say, "awahhhhh" But God had a better idea.  (He always DOES doesn't he?) 

This week, he sent me to Group Publishing Company in Loveland, Colorado for the Ambassador VBS ReGroup 2011, our annual gathering of Children's Ministry friends from all over the US and even Canada. We were there to work and prepare for VBS 2012 training events, but we were also there to play, reconnect and encourage each other between sessions.

We're Children's ministry people.... what ELSE would we do?

We shared our hearts for our life's work - Children's Ministry.

In conversation after conversation, I was graced to hear the beat of hearts tender yet resilient, steady and strong... broken, battered or even bleeding hearts that quicken and quake under the strain of heavy workloads, family struggles and the rigors of today's busy world.

As each one shared their hearts through their life stories, I experienced first hand that even under the pressure and strain, Kidmin hearts never skip a beat. They keep going, serving, planning, sharing, training, loving and guiding with a mobile phone in one hand and a box of Goldfish crackers in the other.

I'm not going to blab the details of what was shared during those precious one on one moments, but the commonality was crystal clear, these friends in ministry are NOT in it for the money, the praise, the fame or fortune... quite the opposite. Many of these people don't get a paycheck or if they do, the check barely covers gas to and from their churches.  Whether volunteer or paid staff, each is motivated by one thing - their passion for bringing children closer to Jesus and a hope that springs up from their trust in God. 

And without blabbing specifics, many of my ministry friends shared the pain and devastating effects of being judged, used, abused, attacked or taken advantage of by their church, pastor or both. Hearing all that pain would have been heart breaking and depressing, but it wasn't.

God showed up, like he always does, bringing healing and hope through the VBS curriculum messages. Bruised hearts were healed throughout the work sessions as we shouted, en masse, over and over again,  "Everything is Possible With God!" and "No Matter What- Trust in God!".  

These tag line phrases are the core of 2012 Easy VBS and Holyland Adventure VBS and they healed the broken hearts of my ministry friends gathered there to learn them.  Words can't express the awe I felt as I watched my friends hearts heal as we shouted God's promises aloud.

 I've witnessed what those words did for my friends.  Just imagine what the simple truth of "Everything is Possible with God" and the encouragement of "No Matter What - Trust God!" will do for millions of children and adults this summer.

Check Group's 2012 VBS out for yourself and just see what God will do in the hearts of you and your church family. 

Group Publishing's VBS 2012

Go Ahead - Google it!