In the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry, David Wakerley chose the word “Us.”
He begins the article with a brief want through history. Despite the influence that one person can have, Dave reminds us that even people like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. did not accomplish their ultimate objectives on their own. We live in a day and age, influenced by electronic media and the potential for public exposure, where the ability to be heard and potential influence of an individual far exceeds any other point in history. That said, true change happens when people unite and come together behind a cause. Whether it is a cause or a revival, it requires cooperation and working together. It requires far more than an “I.” It requires an “US.” David explains what this means:
Our children need to realize that their individual voices have the potential to be louder than ever before… but volume has never guaranteed influence. When enough voices unite together, a moment happens, a tipping point occurs and a movement emerges. The conversation turns from a lone voice in the wilderness to a crowd in the town square.
In terms of Christianity and children’s ministry, David explains that we can not expect culture to redeem.
A Super Bowl ad is not going redeem a culture that desperately needs God. It will take a generation whose faith is not only personal but grounded in community. Their prayers should be filled with “WE” and “OUR” not just “I” and “MINE”.
I think as Christians we work hard to redeem culture at the expense of point people to Christ who is the only one who can redeem their souls. As children’s ministers, I think David is right on target when he points to prayer as the means towards this end. We must teach kids how to pray, and we must teach them to pray selflessly rather than selfishly.
For the record, I would just like to point out that I spelled David’s last name correctly in this article despite spell check’s desperate pleas to change it. I think WE finally got it right!
Questions for further discussion
The stated purpose of this book is to spark further conversation. I have included some of my thought above, but like other chapters I have included a listing of additional questions to spark further conversation. Here are the questions I came up with:
How do you teach kids about community?
What opportunities does your children’s ministry give kids to participate in community?
What can you do to encourage kids to think in terms of WE and US rather than ME and I?
What cultural influences do you face that teach kids to focus on themselves?
How does the concept of US relate to a child’s relationship with God?
You can find a link to this, and all the other articles I’ve done related to this book, on my What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry Page.