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You Know You're a Children's Minister When...

Mary Van Aalsburg

1. You must resist the urge to recruit your spouse to teach yet another group.
2. You count it a privilege to spend a portion of your Christmas day visiting a sick child in the hospital.
3. You find yourself captured by the hurting look in the eyes of a crying child in the grocery store.
4. You greet children in the shopping mall whom you don't even know, but they seem to know you.
5. Congregation members quickly get engrossed in conversation when you approach them on a Sunday morning.
6. You spend Saturdays at garage sales and craft fairs looking for just that right item for the nursery or the next preschool project.
7. Your collection of picture books begins to crowd out the novels on your bedroom bookshelf.
8. You find all the comfort you need on a busy Sunday morning in the hug of a preschool child.
9. You stop to wipe the tears from your eyes as you pass a classroom of toddlers singing, "Jesus loves me, this I know."
10. You ask your neighbors to save milk cartons for the three months before summer...just to have enough for that one neat project.
11. You save empty toilet paper rolls from public restrooms.
12. Your automobile tape deck rings with Charity Church Mouse, Psalty, Colby, and all their friends. Music to your ears!
13. You see God work in the life of a teacher through the example of the children in her class.
14. You sit-spellbound-when the kids come through with flying colors for the Christmas pageant.
15. You become known as the Balloon Lady for each and every staff event.
16. You begin to think hors d'oeuvres are red punch and graham crackers
17. You cringe when the phone rings at 9:15 on Saturday night. The question "where can I find a sub?" goes through your mind before you even answer.
18. Your light reading for an evening turns to the new "church directory" for possible recruits.
19. You gravitate to the children's corner at a friend's dinner party.
20. You designate at least one drawer or shelf in your office for preschool blocks, small trucks, and doll clothes.
21. Your ears perk up at the slightest cry of a baby or small child in a church service-and even in a theater.
22. Your phone rings at 5 o'clock on Easter Sunday morning...a teacher needs to use a copy machine.
23. You've stood beside a tiny child's deathbed and wept with a grieving family-more times than you can stand to recall.
24. You get your boost and encouragement by reviewing the progress of a teacher-helper who's come through your program and is now passing on what she's learned and done.
25. You're privileged to rejoice with an adult helper who meets Jesus through the words of a little child.
26. Your favorite pastime is holding a newborn for an hour so the new parents can sit comfortably in a worship service.
27. You get a jump start each time you have the honor of writing a child's name in his first award Bible.
28. Your spouse complains that he or she is now known only as 's husband or wife in all areas of the church.
29. You count more people age 12 and under on your close friends list than you do those age 20 and over.
30. You find new meaning in the term "simple faith" on a daily basis.

Mary Van Aalsburg is a free-lance writer and former children's minister in California.


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