Kinderwonders and Church Planting?
by Danna Freeman Beale | July 21, 2015Band camp has begun for John Michael. Anna Caroline will camp at Faulkner next week. In two short weeks, Open House will be upon us as I prepare to welcome a new crop of Garden Patch Kids. Although we are enjoying our last moments of "unscheduledness", our household will soon brim with excitement as everyone settles in, gets to know their teachers, learns which students need to be separated in our various classes, and begins to fall in love with their charges, young and old. Teaching is absolutely the most incredible privilege that could possibly exist, and EACH OF US IS ONE. You never know where the seeds that come from your mouth will take root!
Because it's been so long since most of us were in Kindergarten, I'd like to share the famous essay, "All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. Read on for some lifelong lessons that most of us are still pursuing:
"Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned...Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup - they all die. So do we.
And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living. Think of what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. A nd it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together."
The most incredible thing about teaching Kindergarten is that it's a year of firsts, forming the foundation for all else. I've seen children hold scissors for the first apparent time this week as well as prayed with several crying mamas (because I remember all too well!). What God plants through me into the lives of these children and families needs to be sturdy and strong. In the same way, planting a church is an incredible privilege--one that few get to take or CHOOSE to take! The foundation that is laid in the early, formative, impressionable years will set the strength and growth tone for its entire future (and churches honestly only get one real opportunity to build a solid foundation). Churches spring up everywhere, and some even grow astronomically (by numbers), but it can't be said often enough that we should be so careful to build on the wisdom and Word of God, the love and service of Jesus Christ, and the excitement and power of the Holy Spirit in order to be a God-glorifying church that survives the long haul. It's just too easy to gather a crowd without building a house of faith that will withstand life's certain storms!
Mike and I are certain, steadfastly certain, that WellSpring's best days are beginning RIGHT NOW. What God has begun, who He has brought, what He does each week to our amazement gives us a peace, joy, and exhilaration like nothing we've ever before experienced. It has been worth the wait, worth the prayers, worth the toil, worth the confusion...because this fruit is mighty tasty. We praise God for each person who is currently experiencing His incredible person and presence, as well as for those who are in prayer about who to bring into the fold at WellSpring. Laying the foundation of a church is not for everyone, but there could be nothing more important in Kingdom building than GETTING IT RIGHT. Much like teaching Kindergarten, it requires much tender care, but the joy that accompanies it when it's RIGHT will leave you "downright delirious"!
Faithfuls, thank you so much. Local surfers? Come ride the wave. Across-the-globe-seekers? Send up a prayer. And remember to wonder at small beginnings...for as Scripture puts it..."Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..." (Zechariah 4:10). And so it is with the foundation laid in Kindergarten. One can never predict the harvest as we sow and reap together!