Taking the child in his arms, (Jesus) said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”

Mark 9:36-37

To welcome someone is to take them as they are without condition.

Welcoming adults isn’t always easy, let alone kids.

You can’t relate to them like you can adults.

Their senses of humor and hobbies go over your head.

In a camp setting, you know you’re suppose to disciple.

Yet their attention span can’t quite handle that kind of a conversation.

How can we talk about Jesus when there’s soft serve and mini-corn dogs to eat?

Why sing songs and listen to a preacher when we could play 9-square for another hour and a half?

But if we take moments to come to their level…

listen to them talk about whatever they want to…

choose quantity time in the short-term…

we’ll get those quality conversations in the long-term.

At Kids Camp, the best discipleship will happen not in the worship & teaching services.

It’s not gonna happen in the small group discussions.

Those things matter for sure. They give a foundation to work off of.

But the greatest discipleship will be from the example we set as adult leaders.

How we respond to others when we’re tired and stressed. (See Proverbs 12:18)

How patient and present we are when a kid won’t stop talking about Dude Perfect or Pokemon.

How we engage in a service with a message we’ve heard a thousand times.

(Even though let’s be real: the Gospel presented, no matter at what grade level, is still impactful. May we never grow tired of hearing it.)

Discipleship isn’t a curriculum.

It’s a life lived together, even if it’s only for a week.

Lord, help us to welcome these children as if we’re welcoming you.

And may these moments of welcoming lead to opportunities to win kids for your Kingdom.