Jay Hostetler, February 14
For four decades, I have had the amazing experience of spending much time in ministry with kids. My memories run deep with observing kids react to one another and with adults.
I remember a flight where I noticed an adult who was dealing with stress. Down the aisle bounced a four-year-old little girl who plopped in the seat right next to the stressed adult. In just a few minutes the child’s presence transformed the attitude of the adult who was laughing and interacting by mid-flight.
I have coached children’s little league teams and basketball teams and realized that true sportsmanship often resides in kids and should be a model to our older athletes.
I have witnessed kids reaching out to older adults in care facilities. Their authentic connection is inspirational. I have seen kids reach out to other kids with special needs in ways that adult caregivers cannot.
I, like many others, have experienced the inquisitive nature of kids. Their honest effort to understand their world leads to lots of “why” questions.
I have counseled kids who have experienced tough times with their parents.
I’ve transported kids to camp on a big blue bus and experienced their excitement as we reached camp. And it’s been my privilege to watch as God has impacted them in camp settings.
My life has been enriched because of my time with kids. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. My learnings have hopefully made me a better person.
As I now coach Children’s pastors and Next Gen pastors, I hope I can effectively pass along the importance of connecting with the kids in their ministries. Jesus admonished His disciples to bring the kids to Him. He knew their young lives could be impactful to others–as kids.