Sunday, January 7, 2018

Creating a Culture of YES!


The idea: What if we had all the kids take a handful of confetti and throw it into the air?

The resistance: What if it makes a big mess? 

Well, it will.

The resistance: What if it makes some people uncomfortable? 

Well, it might.

The resistance: What if a kid gets confetti in his eyes? 

Well, I hadn't thought of that.

The resistance: What about the janitors? Doesn't this make their job tougher? 

I'll help clean it up. My family will help too.

The resistance: You know this isn't how we normally do things?

But is that such a bad thing?

You might be familiar with the idea of a children's message during a church service. I'm sure at some point that was an innovation. But for all of my years attending services, I remember it being a thinga really good thing. 

All of the little kids are invited down to the front for a short message/story that is intended just for them. It's usually an object lesson or story that conveys a Biblical truth in an interactive way. As much as it's intended for the kids, I think the adults often get a lot out of it too. 

Well, on Christmas Eve, our whole family went to church together, all six of us. And during the service, all of the little kids were invited to the front. I teased our youngest daughter Emma who is 15 and told her she should head down front. She gave me the "Really dad?" look. There may have been a little eye-rolling too.

There was a huge crowd at church for the Christmas Eve service, and the entire stage was filled with little kids brimming with energy. I mean, it's Christmas Eve! Kids have a lot on their minds this time of year.

Our children's minister planned a lesson about how joy comes from God, and we should share that joy with others around us. Of course, it included the story of how the shepherds, in particular, shared the news of the birth of Jesus with great enthusiasm. When you have true joy, you can't help but share it.

A good message for sure. And then the truly unexpected part of the message was about to happen. The children's minister explained how when we are excited and celebrating something great, sometimes there is confetti.

"Let's all get some confetti and celebrate the birth of Jesus. And then together we are all going to throw it into the air. Let's share our joy for everyone to see."

It was a beautiful thing. And memorable. And a perfect illustration.

There was joy in the congregation. There was certainly joy in the kids. And I'm pretty sure the joy went home with the kids and probably went with them wherever they went. After all, several were stuffing confetti in their pockets. It was a beautiful thing.

But it was risky. 

And to be sure, our children's minister had asked our pastor ahead of time for permission. 

And he said, "YES!"

And I'm pretty sure he didn't ask all of those questions that might come from the resistance

He just said, "YES!"

What kind of culture are you creating in your classroom or school? Are you missing something truly memorable and remarkable because you aren't willing to take a risk?

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