Several weeks ago, we were teaching on the birth of Jesus as part of our December series. More specifically, we were talking about God meeting our greatest need in sending Jesus Christ to earth. As part of the lesson, I asked the kids to name some of their needs. They started, of course, with physical needs like food and shelter and clothes. Then I asked them to name some things they need which they could not touch. The kids offered some ideas, but most of them were actually tangible things, and many weren’t needs at all. I tried to steer them a little bit to things like love and friendship. One little girl gave the age-old church answer “Jesus Christ.” Of course, she was right. That got the rest of the class started, and another shouted “God.” I said, quite off the cuff, “that’s true, we definitely need God and Jesus Christ is God. Great answer!”
One little boy in the class scrunched his face and proclaimed with conviction – “Jesus is not God. He is God’s son, and if he’s God’s son, HE CANNOT BE GOD!”
That morning I learned two very valuable lessons about working in children’s ministry. #1 – always be prepared. I was prepared that morning to talk about Jesus. I was prepared to talk about God. I was even prepared to talk about Mary and Gabriel and Joseph and Bethlehem. Heck, I was even prepared to talk about the condescension of God into human form (not in those exact terms, but I was prepared to talk about it)! I had not planned on talking about the trinity to a bunch of five and six year olds. Fortunately, my own son had asked me the exact same question a couple of years ago when he was six, and was somewhat prepared to answer. I talked about the trinity. I used the example of an egg, I was honest and explained that I did not fully understand it even though the Bible indicates that it is true. Finally, I explained that the trinity was really an idea that humans could never fully understand until we meet God. #2 was actually the more important lesson. It pays to be prepared, but in those moments, we must rely on God to give us the proper words to speak to his kids!