Occasionally, this verse is used in Church culture to encourage believers to minister to individuals or groups of individuals who, for one reason or another, are unappealing. Be it age, gender, race, economic status, criminal background, or lack thereof, personal biases and preferences influence our willingness to obey Christ’s command “to go into all the world and preach the gospel.” — Mark 16:15 as an illustration, I have met countless leaders who treat Children ministry as a subordinate role or as a necessary step towards their ultimate goal.
Two years ago, I was in Myanmar. It was my responsibility to share the gospel through the method of storytelling. From drawing a permanent marker mustache on my upper lip to rubbing coffee grounds on my arms, and using a red lipstick to mark a bindi on my forehead, I threw myself into the characters.
My hope was to bring energy into these tales and thus life into the Biblical truths intricately woven throughout. I worried over the limited time and strategized effective methods to break through the cultural barriers. I was so focused on ministering to the “least of these” that I failed to notice something rather spectacular.
I traveled over 15 hours to represent Christ to a broken part of the world. Instead, Christ was represented to my broken heart because I was the least of these. God knew I desperately needed to see the gospel in action and the kids joyfully obeyed His will.
These children intentionally sought ways to shower me with kindness and love. Huge bear hugs, meaningful conversations, bouquets of wildflowers, intricate drawings, and the Burmese word for love written all over my arms were just some expressions of the gospel love.
Two years later, the names Echan, Zimbeytoo, and Nola are forever inscribed on my heart. The faces of the countless boys and girls who lived out the gospel message, they had just learned, are eternally etched in my memory.
It is not subordinate to work with unappealing individuals because that is who Christ is, who we are, and to whom He has called us. (See Isaiah 53:2-5; Romans 5:8 & 10; and Colossians 1:21) Children ministry is not a first step on the ladder of success; it is an absolute privilege.
By narrating stories to the “least of these,” I was narrating stories of Christ to Christ. In return, I experienced the gospel from the ministrations of these little ones because I too am the least of these.
Kayla traveled with GE to Myanmar, she hopes to use her law degree on the mission field in the future.