"No, I've Got This!"
By Kevin Lauthern
Alec was unusually attentive, listening to “Miss Carrie” tell the story about religious leaders and their response to Jesus’ ministry. His eyes were glued to the picture book showing Jesus in the crowd; ears locked in to how people were welcoming or rejecting His teachings. The lesson led to sharing about God’s love demonstrated through the death of His Son on the cross and transitioned into a personal yet unpressured appeal to respond to Jesus by asking Him into their hearts.
Carrie encouraged the kids to go speak with one of the adults after the prayer if they were interested in knowing more about Jesus. Alec, obviously touched by the love he had just heard described, made his way to where I was sitting.
What makes this ministry opportunity unique is the setting. It isn’t the typical Sunday School classroom, Vacation Bible School, or camp small group. This took place in a public elementary school gymnasium. The weekly Good News Club meets for 90 minutes after school. Kids sing songs, play games, and listen to Bible stories with the purpose of introducing young students to the gospel. Many children in our multi-cultural school do not have a Bible, haven’t heard of Jesus, and know little about Christianity.
Alec is a fourth grader, smaller than most children his age, which he makes up for with a big attitude to show he can hold his ground. His father is in prison, few of his siblings have the same father, but his mother remains a constant source of care in his young life. Often in trouble for acting out, not listening, even fighting, he is constantly corrected by dedicated teachers, counselors, and administrators. Most people in the school recognize his potential and encourage his infectious smile and actions in the right direction.
After the lesson, Alec shared that he wanted to ask Jesus to forgive him of his sins and come into his heart. We sat on the floor next to the bleachers and talked about what salvation means. He was eager to pray for forgiveness, and I asked if he would like for me to lead us in prayer. In a way that only this independent young man could say, he looked up at me and said, “No! I’ve got this!”
He prayed softly and solemnly, but loud enough that I could hear him. It was a simple prayer, straight from a child’s heart. “Forgive me for all my sins. Come into my heart, Jesus. Help me to do better.”
My heart was touched too, and when we said amen together, my arm was raised in praise to an awesome God and in thankfulness to my new fourth-grade brother in Christ.
About the Writer: Kevin Lauthern and his wife Linda are active members of the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee. He is president of Lewis Letterworks, a company providing design, printing, and mailing services for corporations, associations, and non-profit organizations. Good News Club is an outreach ministry of their church and is sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship. Learn more: www.cefonline.com/good-news-clubs