The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus. After Jesus went back to heaven, the Holy Spirit gave followers of Jesus power to begin working to spread the gospel. With the power of Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man who could not walk.
The story from Acts 3–4 of Peter and John’s encounter with the lame man as they entered the temple has always fascinated and inspired me. In Acts 3:5, we are told that the lame man “turned to [Peter and John], expecting to get something from them.” The lame man probably expected them to give him money. Even though his expectations were misdirected, I love the fact that he expected something. Each of us go throughout our day with certain expectations of circumstances and the people around us. Some of these expectations we are aware of, some of them we are not. The kids in your class this week have expectations, too. Some of them expect to have fun. Some of them expect to have a snack. Some of them expect to sing. Some of them expect to avoid singing. Some of them expect to just have an hour or so away from a stressful home life. And some (in fact, most) expect to you to tell them about Jesus.
Several years ago I heard a preacher say, “Almost every Sunday, there are spiritual orphans in your class. This means that there are children who do not have an adult at home who is actively, intentionally teaching them about Jesus. They may go from Sunday to Sunday without hearing the name of Jesus spoken, except as a profanity. In some cases, these might even be kids who are in your class every week. So when they come to your class at church, whether consciously or unconsciously, they expect you will tell them about Jesus.”
This was a HUGE aha moment for me. If this is true, and I believe that it is, we cannot fail on this point. We cannot fail to help kids see Jesus every single Sunday (or whatever your regular meeting day is). These kids are broken and turning to us as Kid Min leaders expecting to get something. No, we can’t meet every single need in a one-hour class on Sunday morning, but we can be strategic to give them the one thing kids all need: Jesus.
The man in this story expected something to meet a temporary need; Peter and John gave him something he didn’t even know he needed. As you lead your kids this week, don’t miss an opportunity to give them what is most important, even if they don’t know they need it.
Jeremy Carroll (@jermpc) is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to LifeWay, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.