You’re amazing. Did you know that? Being a children’s worker is often not a job that brings a great deal of reward, praise or recognition. I know that’s not why we do it, for the fame and fortune, but it’s nice to know every once in a while that you’re doing well. So I’ll say it again. You’re amazing.
August is often a time when we look back and forward – back to what has gone on in the previous academic year and forward to the one to come. All too often, though, when we look back, it’s the negative that looms large while the positive retreats into the background. We can beat ourselves about the things that didn’t go to plan, and this clouds the good that God has done.
Recently I led a residential. Nearly all of it was amazing – we had so much fun and both children and leaders met with God in new ways. However, there were just a few issues that were tricky, sensitive and potentially disruptive. In the immediate aftermath of the week away, it was these things that I focused on – the mistakes I’d made, the problems that arose, the difficult experiences of a few – not the overwhelming work that God did and is continuing to do. Yes, we needed to sort these things, we couldn’t just leave them. But in my reflections, I shouldn’t ignore the good.
Sometimes we can shy away from bigging up achievements because we feel it’s God’s work, not ours. Or perhaps we don’t want to seem like we’re blowing our own trumpet. But if we don’t see the great stuff that God is doing, then we can be overcome by niggling problems that, while significant, are not where our heart should be at.
Look back at the previous year and list all the fantastic things that have happened. Have you made contact with new children and families? Have any of the children in your groups had that lightbulb moment, when they’ve discovered something incredible about Jesus? Have you had a new volunteer join your team? Have you managed to start a new club? It doesn’t have to be anything major – just reflect on the things God has done in the lives the children and families you have contact with, and in the life of your church community.
So before you go on to plan for the new academic year, take some time out to thank God. Treat yourself and your fellow volunteers and workers to something lovely. Go out for a meal, a drink, an ice cream. Get each other a gift (dare I say it, from the church budget?!), write a letter to someone who has done a great job or just tell each other how amazing you are. Because without you, tens of thousands of children would not hear the good news of Jesus.
You. Are. Amazing.