By Ruth Anne Burke
There’s a new background track at our house these days. It’s our three-year-old daughter wandering around singing at the top of her lungs, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh He loves me.” We have the staff of Cubs in Motion to thank for these spontaneous outbursts of praise.
Cubs in Motion is the camp New Life runs for 3-5 year-olds every year. This year, 80 preschoolers came through the church every day to be herded through a morning of singing, crafts, snack, Bible stories, games, and playground time. Two-thirds of these kids’ families don’t regularly attend New Life. It is an amazing opportunity to both serve the kids and families of our own church and to reach out to the greater community.
I could tell you many funny or touching stories from this week, but here is one. Try to imagine fifteen 3-5 year-olds sitting quietly in a line. They’re all watching intently as Amy Gill helps them act out the day’s story. Today’s theme is “God’s love saves us.” She gives each of them a brown paper heart. They scribble on these hearts with their crayons. Then, one by one, they come up and place their dirty hearts at the foot of the cross. As Amy hands them a pristine, white heart, she tells each child, “Jesus takes your sin, he died on the cross for it and he gives you this new clean heart. So now when God looks at you, he doesn’t see your sin, He sees Jesus’ clean heart.” I know that these kids won’t fully understand the depth of that message until later in life, but their simple acceptance of it gave me goosebumps. It was a powerful reminder to me of the incredible transformation Christ’s love creates in our hearts and what it means to receive the kingdom of God like a little child.
Cubs in Motion is a great opportunity for us to reach out to the community. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to live out the vow that we as a congregation take at the baptism of our covenant children: the promise to “undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child.” Every church member participates in this responsibility whether we feel a calling to children’s ministry or not. I am so thankful for the many who make my kids and other kids a priority. I encourage you to start considering now how you can help with Kids and Cubs in Motion next summer for a week or a few days, whether working with the kids directly or not. There are many ways to serve.