By Melinda Shunk

Children's Ministry Coordinator

Have you seen pictures on social media? Have you received text reminders? Opened emails with an announcement of what we can do safely together? Have you received a hand-written note from someone in Children’s Ministry?

Even if you don’t have kids in the children’s program at church, I bet you have seen some type of outreach to children and their families. Volunteers and staff in Children’s Ministry have a servant’s heart when it comes to their job. They are in that position because they feel so-called to serve children and their families that they will not let even a global pandemic stop ministry from happening!

As the Conference Children’s Ministry Coordinator, I am lucky because I get to witness their miraculous, creative, energy-filled, Spirit-led work.

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Thanks to technology, I get to see around 50 or more posts on social media a day from different churches in our state. I get invited to Zoom meetings with passionate children’s ministers whose hearts are aching to be with their church family. I receive text messages sharing how they just had the most amazing porch visit with a family. I get emails telling me that they just tried storytime in the park with parents and toddlers on physically spaced blankets. I see video footage of teams handing out the next four-week activity packets in the church breezeway. My phone blinks on Wednesday and Sundays with a Facebook Live alert that another exciting Bible story is about to be shared for anyone to listen to. I get e-vites to parking lot fellowship events or, better yet, how a family can pull up and get a backpack of blessings placed in their car during a Unity in the Community outreach.

I have been in awe of their creativity to still be connectional in a time in our lives where we must have separation in order to stay safe.

The ARUMC Conference has been blessed by God with such outstanding ministry to children and their families. If there was a time to read professional books, clean cabinets, and wait for this all to pass so that we could bring everyone back in the building, this would have been the approved time.

However, I have witnessed great ministry to families that involved parks, porches, parking lots, and breezeways. As Jesus has taught them, children’s ministers have gone to the people and created space for all to hear the love of God.