Working with kids can be unpredictable. It never fails that an unexpected question arises during a children’s sermon, that a heartfelt prayer request surfaces during circle time, or that an unplanned activity becomes the highlight of an event. This variety is one of my favorite parts of my job and is often the place where the most teachable moments are found.
Last Sunday, as I was preparing for 4th/5th grade youth group, I knew there was the possibility for the perfect storm of unpredictability…a group of preteens and an afternoon of painting. The end goal was to collaboratively produce a mural for use as the back drop for the Resurrection during the upcoming “Experience Easter.” Some very gifted artists, our church’s own Kenzie Park and OTHS art teacher Nikki Witty, volunteered their expertise, mixed some paints, and formulated a plan for what our sunrise would look like. Outfitted in old clothes and filled with enthusiasm, the kids arrived eager to dig in.
Each beginning with their own cup of paint and in their own section of canvas, the most unpredictable thing happened. It worked! Chunks of green melted together forming patches of shade and sunlight. A hodgepodge of colors blended into a sunrise that would make Monet proud. Maybe Kenzie and Nikki saw this coming, but I was completely taken aback that 10 kids and a pack of sponges from Dollar Tree produced such a beautiful creation.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, the church’s theme this month was “Cooperation.” The Bible tells “two are better than one because they have a good return on their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9), and the example set by the early church in Acts shows how Christians can work together.
I am so thankful that I was witness to a little microcosm of Christian cooperation last week. I pray the world can know the beauty of individuals, with their own colorful palates, blending together to create God’s perfect masterpiece.
P.S. Come to “Experience Easter,” Palm Sunday, March 20 from 9:30 – 11 in the Family Life Center to see the kids’ mural. With various groups from within the church hosting stations to trace Jesus’ steps through Holy Week, it’s sure to be another example of what good can come when we work together to tell God’s story.