One of the highlights of my week is having the opportunity to stand in the lobby and to walk the halls of the Children’s Center on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. There is nothing like it. It fills my heart with so much thankfulness that I can hardly contain it. Really. Sometimes there are tears. Let me tell you why.

On any given Sunday or Wednesday, I walk into this huge building and remember that it was built because of the sacrificial giving and the dedicated prayers of so many who prioritized having a special place to invest in the spiritual lives of the next generation, and who believed that opening a preschool would expand the reach of the gospel into our community. I’d like to tell you today how incredibly thankful to God I am for those sacrifices, those prayers, and the belief that it really mattered. Because it did and it does. Because children matter to God.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the building is the thing, but the building has been used by God— powerfully— as a place where kids and families have been built up and encouraged. I could tell you stories all day of kids who have been changed because of the hope and joy that they are finding in a relationship with Jesus.  Or stories of young parents, new to our church, who are filled with gratitude that this church family cares so much for their children. Or the stories of families who have a child with special needs, and who are embraced and loved. Or the stories of the volunteers who walk through the doors week after week, with a light in their eyes and a love for Jesus that they long to share with each child who shows up that day.

I see about 200 volunteers from our church family walk through the doors of the Children’s Center each week, and their lives are beautiful to me. They encourage my heart more than they will ever know. So as I walk the halls and see a volunteer teaching a Bible lesson, or rocking a baby, or leading a discussion, or tenderly helping a child with special needs, or teaching a group of little ones how to talk to our awesome God in prayer— my heart could just explode with thankfulness to God for the beauty of the body of Christ on full display. Each one brings their love for Jesus, their love for children, and a hope that a child will learn to walk in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus because they showed up. They show up and it matters— for eternity it matters because Jesus loves children.

Father, thank you for the beauty of the body of Christ, as each one brings their gifts, their sacrifice of time and love, to help the next generation know all of the wonderful things you have done in making a way for us to know you, through your Son. Thank you, God, for each member of this church family who prays and gives and serves because they have found life in you, and want others to know that life.

“… How beautiful the radiant Bride who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes…How beautiful the feet that bring the sound of good news and the love of the King. How beautiful the hands that serve the wine and the bread and the sons of the earth. How beautiful! How beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ.” -Twila Paris

Nicole Jiles
Director of Children’s Ministry

Subscribe to the Daily Fill