Go Bigger

A Place for Children

By Amanda Talalaj on December 9th, 2019

                As we approach the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, it is often a time of joy and reflection. During this season, my family spends our time decorating, crafting, and enjoying lots of food with our extended family. However, in those quiet moments when the children are fast asleep and the lights of the Christmas tree are shining bright, I take a moment to review the year, all of its blessings, achievements, and setbacks. Then I look towards the upcoming year with hopes it will be better than the last. During this time of reflection, I also review the progress and milestones my children have made. This year in particular my children have grown in so many areas, which I am thankful for. As many of you know, I am the children’s director at Living Hope Church. So, this year, included in my reflections will be all the children of Living Hope Church (LHC).

            Over this past year, the children of LHC have grown both physically and spiritually. They have not only grasped many deep spiritual concepts but have also applied them in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods. I am also pleased to announce we have welcomed many new children into our LHC family. And I can’t forget our youth. They are an amazing group and I am so proud of them! They serve faithfully and willing in both nursery and children’s church. They too like the children, have hearts on fire for the Lord.

            I am thankful for this opportunity to serve the children at LHC. I could not do it without our wonderful volunteers who give of their time and energy each week to pour into our children. I can see God moving in each child’s life. They are a blessing to me, and they are also a blessing to our church. Often in “church culture” children are an afterthought and not thought of as being equal members of the congregation. In Mark 10:14, Jesus says “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
          To have a healthy church culture, children must be equal members of the body. All children are important to Jesus and thus all children are important to LHC. My goal as children’s director is to help continue this culture and build upon it. My vision is that we will be known in our community as a people who minister and welcome children with open arms. This goes far beyond what is taught in children’s church on Sunday morning.
           I encourage you to pray how you can be a part of this vision. For some of you that looks like volunteering in children’s church and nursery on Sunday mornings, others it may look like leading a bible study on Wednesday night. I believe God is going to speak to people in unique ways to participate in building this culture. It may be though sharing your skills, bringing in a special snack, giving balloons, or as simple as asking a child how school is going or how they did at their basketball game. When we ask God how we can help, God always answers and meets us where we are.
            In 2020, I believe God is going to exceed our expectations. Whenever, I start talking to God about my goals and desires he always says, “Go bigger.” You see our goals and visions are just a seed that we are meant to plant and water with God’s direction. And one day, that seed will be the grandest oak tree. I pray as we enter this new season, you will plant the seeds, dreams God has already given you and begin to water them so that may grow. While being a teacher’s assistant at Lee University, a lady told me her 95-year-old grandmother was graduating with her doctorate degree. When her grandmother was asked why you would get a degree at her age her response was, “The time is going to pass anyway.” This story always brings me great encouragement. In the New Year, be encouraged to not just let your time pass by. God has big things in store for you and I can’t wait to hear how God moves in your life!  
May we continue to serve our students with love in Christ,
Amanda Talalaj

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