Today I Saw God
Paper Airplanes and Jesus
If you were at Floris United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 26, and walked by the Hangar where the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders meet, you probably heard yelling, cheering and saw lots of movement. A few folks peeked their heads in and laughed when they saw what we were doing flying paper airplanes!
One of the best ways to help children develop a faith that has integrity and stirs them to act in loving and caring ways is through fun and games. Unfortunately, society sometimes labels "fun and games" as a waste of time. But when it comes to teaching children in ways they'll really remember, games arean important element.
In our culture of the "hurried child" in which many forces are seen as pushing children to grow up faster than they should, perhaps the ministry of play is one of the most valuable ministries of the church. Adults, if they're honest with themselves, will probably admit a degree of jealousy that children get to play more often than adults do.
Many churches around the country now have Recreation Pastors. One such church in San Antonio, TX has a Recreation Pastor who sets up basketball games, volleyball leagues, exercise challengesand an annual golf tournament. In addition, each week the church's double gym is turned into a skate park complete with Ramps, Quarter Pipes, Bank Ramps, Grind Boxes, Hand Rails and more! Children and teens from all over the city come to hear about God and at last count over 70 youth found Jesus and were baptized as a result of these programs.
Recreation for the reason that it can help re-create your sense of balance, fun and health. We can show others the love of Christ through how we interact in our given recreation pursuits. This past Sunday when our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders were folding and flying paper airplanes, I saw the spirit of cooperation, team-work, good sportsmanship and truly being happy for someone else in that room. It was amazing!
While it's great to see our kids reciting the books of the Bible or re-telling the story of Boaz, my heart was so happy and full to see so many kids and adult looking like Jesus that day. Instead of being mad or upset that they were eliminated from the friendly competition we had, they cheered on their friends and were truly happy for the success of others. And I'd like to think that if paper (and airplanes) had been invented when Jesus was a child, he would have folded and thrown a few airplanes of his own.