One of the things I really enjoy about ministry is seeing people who’ve had very little experience with the Church become a part of the life of the faith community. In the congregations I serve, this happens most often with little kids.
Before my first service at 9:30 this morning, I came in to find 14 little boys and girls waiting for worship to start. At least five of these kids were first time visitors, brought by their friends and neighbors. It’s interesting how these little kids start coming, even without their parents, and start extending invitations to anyone who will listen.
Some of the more senior members of our community have insisted on the kids calling me Pastor or at the very least, Pastor Matt. As I entered, one of the little girls met me with a big smile and a hug before introducing me to her new friends, none of them more than five or six years old. I smiled and asked the new friend’s name. After doing this, I went off to talk to some of the adults who had gathered before worship for coffee. As I was leaving, I overheard the littlest one giggle and the older girl say, “See…I told you ‘Pasture’ is really nice.”
No wonder Jesus wanted his followers to let the little children come to him!