Parents and children’s ministry leaders, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ADDRESS WHAT HAPPENED IN TEXAS WITH YOUR ELEMENTARY AGE CHILDREN? For those of you living outside the USA we just had another mass shooting in an elementary school where nineteen young children and two teachers were killed by an 18 year old mentally ill gunman. But similar horrific events happen in every nation. How can anyone make sense of a tragedy like this?
This is never an easy time for a nation. But if anyone should be ready to give an answer it is Christians especially those of us in children’s ministry. This is a perfect opportunity to impart to them a biblical worldview and explain the gospel. Here is my answer and feel free to use this in your children’s service with your children.
WHY THE GOSPEL IS IMPORTANT?
This would be a great time to explain why the gospel is important. It changes lives. Takes away hate and violence out of our hearts. It makes us more kind and loving like Jesus. People that don’t have Jesus don’t have the answers to the turmoil on the inside of them. There is no compass to guide them. The Holy Spirit is our compass and guide to do what’s pleasing to God. So people without Jesus just react out of their anger and hurt.
IF GOD IS GOOD WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
The constant question that arises at times like this is if God is good and loving why did he let this happen.? Do your due diligence. Research this on the internet. This is a question that will come up constantly even with adults.
The overly simplistic answer is to get a big mouth puppet and a marionette. Explain how God gave mankind a free will. Free will is sacred to God. He will not control us or force us to do anything against our free will even when it hurts other people. We are not puppets on a string where God controls our every move. (Move your marionette.) This would mean he would stop us everytime we go to do something like disobey our parents, or cheat in school (make up your own sin). That would be like living under Communism where someone else controls everything you say and do.
THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES ON THE INSIDE OF US
Instead when we are Christians, that is when we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, the Holy Spirit moves on the inside of us (put on the big mouth puppet and maneuver it) to lead and guide us. He speaks to us in our hearts to remind us what is right and wrong. BUT he still will not force us to do something we don’t want to do or stop us from doing something wrong, even if it hurts other people. To do that He would be taking away our free will.
This is why we need to listen to God’s voice daily and always obey Him. And it’s why we need to tell others about Jesus, so they can have the power of the Holy Spirit on the inside to know right from wrong and to resist evil.
Leave lots of room in your service for discussion on this, and for sure invite the children into the presence of the Lord to rededicate their hearts to Him submitting once again to His Lordship. Also spend time praying for the families who have been devastated by this tragedy.