I came across this in my morning reading, and it really hit home with me. Are You A Great Resource? | nakedpastor. I always enjoy reading the nakedpastor but I really think he nailed what we in the church have to be careful about. That is seeing people as simply resources to enable the attainment of some goal.
When people look at me and see a man with a variety of gifts, talents, abilities, interests and hobbies (letâ€™s say), I reject it immediately when they look at me as a resource, as a potential, as a pool for something greater, as a means to some end. This is a false and destructive way to look at me as a person.
This is why I like volunteering in our vacation bible school program. I specifically volunteer for the preschool program even though my only daughter is long past the preschool area. I my be seen as a resource to the people running the program, but I am not a resource to the kids.
I want to talk about the kids in my crew this year and what I see in them. A. is my daughter’s best friend’s little sister. A. is painfully shy around adults but has kind of warmed up to me as she has seen me with my daughter and her sister. This is her second year in my crew and this year the growth in her is amazing. Even the difference from the first day to the third day is amazing. The first day she wanted to go home about an hour before program ended. This is fine because we do an evening VBS that ends at 9:00 and A.’s bedtime is 8:30, so it makes sense she would crash when she did. However, last night she mentioned that she wanted to go home, then realized that there was still fun to be had so she kept going and even said as she was leaving that “I made it the whole night”.
M. is the talker. He is the oldest age we have in the preschool program and will be starting Kindergarden in the fall. He is the kid who not only pays attention, but appears to pay attention as well. Those of you who work with preschooler’s know what I mean by that. Many preschoolers don’t look like they are paying attention, but they will answer any question you ask them about what was covered. M. would be seen by most adults as the “good” kid. He is polite and obedient. I only know M. from VBS because his family attends the church my church partners with for VBS. However M. has attended VBS for a few years now and has gone from only doing things with his mom to a very independent child.
L. is the Doer. Like M., L. is independent and will talk, but L. prefers to do. He is high energy and I don’t mean that in as a euphemism for “this kid is so wild he is driving me crazy.” L. really grabs on to the doing part of VBS like the Games and the Crafts. He does have enough self control to sit through a video and listen to a bible story. L. also attends the partner church so I have only seen him in VBS. L. and M. are friends and they stick together which make them easy to care for in my part as a crew leader.
Last but not least is K. K is the youngest in my crew and in his first VBS. He is a boy through and through. He is very physical and full of energy (in a good way). K.’s family attends the same small group as my family but I have not had much interaction with K. prior to VBS. K. has warmed right up to me and seems to enjoy the time in VBS. He is one of those kids who looks like he isn’t paying attention but when you ask him a question, he is right there with the answer.
My point after a very long tangent is that these kids don’t see me as a resource. They see me (I hope) as someone who loves them in a Godly way. In a way that makes them feel safe. This is how I feel around them. It is God pouring out his love in abundance through these children. I am not a resource to these children, I am simply me. And these kids are not people I simply have to return to their parents unharmed. My prayer is that I can return some small fraction of God’s love that I get from them.