Chris Field is the Founder and Executive Director of Mercy Project. He traveled to Ghana for the first time in August 2009 and has since been on a mission to bring new life to children in slavery as well as empower those around him to make the world a better place.
Chris and his wife Stacey have been married since 2005. They have four children – Famous, Micah, Beckett, and Lincoln. Chris is a gifted speaker, avid runner, and inspirational world-changer.
I’m grateful for his contribution to the conversation today. Welcome, Chris.
Practicing the discipline of service with our kids is really, really hard, but not for the reasons you’re probably thinking.
The biggest problem with practicing the discipline of service with our children is that they are just so darn generous.
This year during VBS we scheduled some “Digging Deep” time: group time after Opening Worship. Digging Deep was designed for children to have some quiet, centering time with God at the beginning of their day.
On the day we were learning that “God is Love” their Digging Deep activity was to write a love letter from God to themselves. What did they think God wanted to tell them? What did God love about the way He created them? Why does God love them? Children entering kindergarten through 5th grades wrote & drew letters from God.
For most, this was the first time they had ever done anything like this before. But God showed up and spoke to the hearts of our children. Here are some of their letters.
“Dear Liam, You are good at defense. I love you. You are cool. God”
Growing up, I learned that praying was for dinnertime, bedtime and for boring, old, long-winded men in church. At dinnertime, my Daddy was the only one who prayed. At bedtime I prayed the same words every night: Dear God, thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Sissy & Jamie. In Jesus’ name, Amen. And in Church? Prayers must last at least 10 minutes and the man praying must use only big, flowery words too intimidating to teach & foster in me a desire to talk to a God whose demands for prayers seemed too lofty and dull.
Mixing things up today with a guest post from the amazing Suzetta Nutt! I’m grateful for her introduction to Come to the Quiet.
Come to the Quiet
Encountering God through the Spiritual Discipline of Silence
Not too long ago someone asked me, “How do you think children will remember you?” Great question for a children’s minister, but one I had never considered. As I thought about it, this scripture immediately came to mind.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
These words have shaped my ministry with children in ways that continually amaze and challenge me. These words laid the foundation for change and gave us the courage to try something new that seemed unlikely – entering into silence with children.
I wish I had a camera every time I mentioned that children are capable of practicing spiritual disciplines. The looks of skepticism and “you’re crazy” would make a fun collage on my office wall.
I’m not sure when or why the phrase “spiritual disciplines” became so scary to some. I’m sure church historians or theologians who are way smarter than me could explain it. Or maybe it’s just when I use the phrase in the same sentence as “Let’s do this with children!” that people look at me like I just said my husband is pregnant with twins. Continue reading
“Out of the mouths of babes…”
This common saying often covers a multitude of unexpected wonderings from children at the most inopportune times. And at God-ordained times.
A daughter asks her Dad to have a tea party with her when he’s already behind at work. After 5 minutes she says, “Daddy, I love you. Thanks for spending time with me.”
Dear Reader, there are a number of ministers, pastors, families, professors and children who have been praying for you, for this blog, the words we share and our conversations together. I am honored to be able to share with you a few prayers from children. May their prayers be a blessing to you.
Help let the website glorify You and let it help other people when they need it most. Let it have the fruit of the Spirit.
~ Hayden, age 9
Like a dog that gnaws on a bone only to bury it for a time then sniffs it out again to gnaw on it once more, the idea of starting a blog has weighed on me off & on for at least a year. When it did I created a convincing column of Cons and pushed it to the back burners of my mind, pretending like I had convinced God that He was crazy.
Until He made Himself abundantly clear, “No, really. I’m not the crazy one.”
My response was very respectful: “Fine! If this is really something you want me to do, You’re going to have to give me a name for this stupid blog…and a purpose…AND ideas.”