You selected Dallas as your home campus. UNDO
You selected Frisco as your home campus. UNDO
Plano is now hosted at
citybridgechurch.org
This page is hosted by the campus.
Your home campus is .

Making Room for Kids | Luke 18:15-17

David Penuel, Sean Hill, KyLea IngramApr 18, 2021

In This Series (5)
Three Things That Never Change
Blake HolmesMay 2, 2021
Making Room for Kids | Luke 18:15-17
David Penuel, Sean Hill, KyLea IngramApr 18, 2021
Oh, But God
Todd WagnerApr 4, 2021
Oh, But God
Connor BaxterApr 4, 2021Frisco
Evening with the Elders
Todd Wagner, Beau Fournet, Kyle Thompson, David Leventhal, Mickey FriedrichFeb 20, 2021

Summary

What does having a childlike faith mean? It means we’re full of humility, wonder, teachability, and joy – no matter how old we are. In this message, David Penuel takes a break from The Last Word to explain how important children were to Jesus and challenge our church body to serve them.

Key Takeaways

  • As future leaders of our church, kids are some of the most valuable and precious assets God has given us to steward.
  • We have done a great job at Watermark of welcoming and teaching kids, and we can continue to do better.
  • Followers of Jesus should not stop kids from coming to Jesus.
  • Three ways that we might be stopping kids from coming to Jesus: Parents might not be bringing kids to Jesus; We might see kids as a bother; We might forget that we are God’s kids.
  • Spiritually healthy kids typically have at least one parent who is being personally transformed by God.
  • Parents bring kids to Jesus first and foremost through their teaching and example.
  • Jesus viewed kids as worthy of interruption and worthy of His full attention.
  • We must confess and repent from any behavior that communicates that kids are unworthy of us sacrificing our time and comfort to welcome, serve, care for, and teach them.
  • We need to be around kids because we need to be like kids: full dependence, simple faith, teachability, wonder, and joy.
  • Just like He does in Luke 18:15-17, Jesus welcomes all who come to him in faith. God is not annoyed by you, and He isn’t asking you to grow up before you come to Him.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • If you are a parent, how are your kids seeing Christ in your day-to-day life?
  • Since kids were important to Jesus, how can we also demonstrate the same preference and attention to children?
  • What is hindering you from jumping in to serve with Watermark Kids?

Other Mentioned or Recommended Resources

Serving Opportunities

David Penuel: Hey, guys. Can we just acknowledge that Jermaine just said, "I'm not going to spoil the Watermark News story for you" and then told us the whole thing? He is a liar. I'm glad he's here today. He will have the opportunity to repent of that sin, because he's in church. He will be loved and welcomed. And you guys are loved and welcomed.

Guys, this is a special meeting. This is an unplanned sermon. The elders have asked me to come and speak on a special topic that is of urgent importance to our church. So, we're going to start with the Bible, and we're going to get into that topic. If you brought your Bible with you, everybody open it up. We're really only going to be in one place. We'll have a few other Scriptures we reference, but we're going to be in the book of Luke, chapter 18, verses 15-17. We're going to start by reading that together.

"One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.'"

So, here's the topic the elders have asked me to hit pause for on this series of sermons we're doing on 2 Timothy called The Last Word. We're not going to continue that until next week, because we have to talk about this this week: our church's hospitality toward, our care for, and our leadership of kids. Kids, the youngest, weakest, most vulnerable, most teachable among us, also the most valuable asset we have, because kids are the future of this local body of Christ.

The kids who are out there in our kids' ministry right now… Someday they will be the elders, they will be the staff, they will be the leaders in re:generation and re|engage, the leaders of Community Groups. They'll be running the cameras. They'll be singing the worship songs. They'll be preaching the sermons. We have to invest in and care for those kids.

We have done an incredible job doing that over the years here at Watermark, and we could stand today to do better. Let me tell you a little bit about Watermark Kids and how they've impacted me. I am a parent. Here's a picture of my family. I'm married to a wonderful woman named Alli, and we have three kids: Chapman (13, seventh grade), Cole (11, fifth grade), and then Annabel (8 years old, second grade).

About five years ago, something amazing happened in our family's life with Annabel. We actually captured it on video because we loved it so much. It's one of our most precious, treasured family memories, and I want to share it with you right now. So check out this video of my daughter Annabel five years ago.

[Video]

Annabel:"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 107:1. Yay! I did it!

[End of video]

David: Yes. When Annabel was 3 years old… I have to be honest. As a parent, as her dad, I didn't think she was capable of memorizing God's Word, but she came home from church, and Watermark, this church, taught her and helped her memorize her first Bible verse. Then it continued from there. We realized, "Wow! Our kids can memorize Scripture." Even to this day in carpool on our way to school, we have a stack of note cards we go through, and we practice verses on our way to school. We continued memorizing God's Word.

Every week, when we leave this place, there are different topics from every different ministry our kids are involved in that we're discussing. Watermark is helping us point our kids to truth and to God. Guys, I just want to tell you, you should be so proud of your church and your kids' ministry. If you're visiting here for the first time or you're listening in online for the first time, I want to tell you…

Just look in on a church, and I want to expose to you and show you how our church is caring for and loving kids, and I want you to hear me challenge our church that we could do even better. We're doing incredible things here on the Dallas Campus. We're doing incredible things up on the Frisco Campus under the leadership up there with Matt Clyde and others who are serving kids, but I have to tell you, Watermark, we have a problem.

Since the start of 2021, January, February, and March, each week we have turned away an average of 215 families. They've gotten online to register for Watermark Kids, and they have gotten a message "Registration is full." An average of 215 families. That's multiple kids and parents who have heard, "There's no room for you here at Watermark." Last week, that number reached a high: 320 families were told that registration was full last week.

This is not because of COVID restrictions. This is because our volunteers have not returned to our classrooms at the same rate they were before. So this is a call to welcome the little children the way Jesus welcomed the little children. So, I have a clear message for this church this morning: followers of Jesus should not stop kids from coming to Jesus.

If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus… Even if you're here for the first time and you're just investigating, trying to learn more about who Jesus is, in some way you're following him, because you're here. You're seeking him. You're looking after him. If you've been walking with him for a long time, you're a follower of Jesus.

The message I think Jesus has for us this morning is that followers of Jesus should not stop kids from coming to Jesus. We're going to look at this short story that I already read from the life of Jesus, and I'm going to show you three things that I think we should consider that we might need to change. Let's look at the passage again. Luke 18:15-17:

"One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.'"

When you read your Bible, you should look at it and go, "What can I learn from this?" As I looked at this passage and considered, "What can I learn from this, and what can our church learn from this?" I came up with three ways that we might be stopping kids from coming to Jesus. I want to emphasize, as we discuss these three ways that we might be stopping kids from coming to Jesus, the word might. I don't want you to feel like I'm accusing you of something this morning, but I want to give you information from God's Word to consider and wrestle with. It convicted me, and maybe it will convict you, and maybe, just maybe, it will move many of us to action this morning.

  1. We might not be bringing our kids to Jesus. This is for the parents. By the way, guys, this message is for parents and this message is for the whole church, but this part here is for parents. We saw in verse 15 at the very beginning of this story the parents were bringing their kids to Jesus. "One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus…" The premise of this story is parents actively bringing their children into the physical presence of Jesus Christ.

Now, how do we do that today? You might suspect the way I would answer that question is, "Well, you get up every Sunday morning and bring your kids to church." That's not the answer. How do parents bring their kids to Jesus? It's so much more than that. Throughout God's Word, we are taught, as parents, that it is our job to train up our children in the way they should go.

The book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6, really early in the Bible… The commands of God to the people of Israel are summarized and presented to them, and then afterward, there's a charge given to parents. In verse 7 of Deuteronomy 6, it says, "Repeat [these commands] again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." So, at morning time, at mealtime, at drive time, at bedtime, all day long, every time, parents, be teaching the commands of God to your children.

I've been here for 19 years. For the first 10 years, I worked with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and after that for seven years with high school students. Some wise parents will often come up to me and say, "Hey, you've been here a long time. You've seen kids grow up. You've seen them go away to college. You've seen them become adults. When you look at the healthiest adults who have grown up here at this church, what's the one thing they have in common so maybe I can reverse-engineer and give that thing to my kids?"

I think they expect me to say, "Make sure they go to small group every single week. You've got to send them to Camp Barnabas with us to serve in the summer. You've got to send them on at least one overseas trip. You've got to make sure they always come to Wake or they always come to Shoreline." That's not what I tell them. When I consider the question and I look back, the one thing the healthiest adults who have grown up here have in common is at least one parent whose life is being transformed continually by their relationship with Christ.

Not just a Christian parent in name, but a parent who is continually walking with Jesus, and their life is changing because of their pursuit of God through Christ. The kid sees that in their parent, and that is the thing that sustains the kid's faith beyond junior high and high school and through college: the ongoing testimony of God's work in at least one of their parents' lives. That's how powerful I believe the role we play as parents is in the lives of our kids.

So you, parents, bring your kids to Jesus, first and foremost, through your teaching and your example. I think of the book of Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 7, where it says, "Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith."

With this verse on the screen, parents, I want to ask you to consider this. Does this verse represent your parenting? Are you a leader in your children's life who is consistently, at morning time, at drive time, at bedtime, at mealtime, at every time, teaching your kids the Word of God? Then also, when your kids see your day-to-day life, are your life and your faith worthy of imitation? Is it an example your kids should follow? Are you bringing your kids to Jesus?

  1. We might see kids as a bother. This is for everyone. The clearest way we can welcome and bring other people's kids to Jesus, not just our own, is by welcoming them to the Christ-centered programs at church. Like the disciples in this story, I think it is easy for us (this is where I'm going to meddle a little bit) to see serving kids as a bother. If you were to not be in here, if you were to be over there, welcoming kids right now, here's a list of things you would have to do.

You'd have to stay in town on the weekends. You'd have to prepare to teach a lesson. You would have to arrive here very early in the morning. You would have to wear an ugly tee shirt. You would have to drink bad coffee. You would have to get to know a co-leader, and that might be awkward getting to know a new person. You would have to miss this service, the adult worship, the adult teaching, the fellowship of being around other adult believers. You would have to awkwardly attempt to talk to kids.

You would have to endure constant noise. There's crying over there. There's screaming over there. They're playing tag over there. They're tackling each other over there. Constant activity. You would have to change diapers. You would have to chaperone bathroom breaks, repeatedly answer irrelevant questions, repeat instructions over and over again, deal with disobedience and discipline. You would have to risk getting sick from those little carrier monkeys, because they can have COVID and not even have symptoms. You would have to put yourself on the front lines of risk.

The disciples in this story said, "Don't bother us and don't bother Jesus." They were running crowd control, because everybody wanted a piece of Jesus. He was working miracles. His teaching was wise. So they were making sure to filter out and only let the important people come to Jesus. But can we go back to this story in Luke 18?

"One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him." But what did Jesus do? "Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.'"

The disciples were setting their own priorities, but Jesus showed us his priorities. I want you to contrast that list of excuses I just read that you and I share together with Jesus Christ. In this story, Jesus did not in any way see kids as a bother. Jesus viewed children as worthy of interruption and worthy of his full attention. When given the opportunity, Jesus treated children as most important.

So, church, we must recognize and confess and repent of any thinking or action or inaction that communicates that kids are unworthy of us sacrificing our time and our comfort in order to welcome, to serve, to care for, and to teach them. Here's another way to say it: If kids were most important to Jesus, shouldn't there be a time in our week when kids are most important to us?

  1. We might forget that we are God's kids. It's how the story ended. After Jesus called the children to him, at the end of verse 16 he says, "For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children." Then in verse 17 he says, "I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

Jesus reminds us that we are God's children, and he calls us to act like children. Now what does that mean, "act like children"? Does that mean let's all be really immature and disobedient all the time, let's have people chaperone us to the bathroom? No. That's not acting like children. That's not what I think Jesus means. I think he means this: Display a sense of vulnerability. Understand our inability. Accept our weakness. Come to him in full dependence.

Remember, these kids were brought. They didn't decide, and they received the kingdom, is what it says. "Receive the kingdom like a little child." When we spend time with children and we see their teachability and their vulnerability, their humility, their wonder, their joy at receiving Jesus, we remember that we are like them, and we remember the glorious truth that the kingdom of God is not something we achieve but is something we receive.

For those of us who are Christians…we call ourselves Christians, and we have come to trust and follow Christ…we know that is not something we did of our own power or our own ability or our own wisdom but that God called us. He opened up our eyes and our minds and our hearts, and he showed us his free gift of grace given to us in Jesus Christ, and all we had to do was simply open up our hands and receive.

We were brought to him by the Spirit, and we received the gift he gave us through Christ on the cross. So, children remind us that we are God's children and we are to act like children. The kingdom of God is received, not achieved. So, we need to be around kids because we need to be like kids. We need to teach them about Jesus, but we need them to teach us so we can learn about the kingdom of God from them.

Watermark Kids volunteers who serve over there… All the time our staff hears this. They say, "Thank you so much for letting me serve. I think I grew and learned more than the kids." We hear it over and over again. So, guys, I hope you've heard very clearly that followers of Jesus should not stop kids from coming to Jesus.

We're going to spend the rest of our time together this morning showing you what happens when we work together to welcome kids, to embrace kids, and to teach them about Jesus. On Easter this year, even though we had three services and they were huge, we didn't have to turn anyone away, because we forced our staff to serve. Everyone on our staff was required to serve in multiple services, and we welcomed every single kid who wanted to come.

On Tuesday after Easter we had this all-staff meeting, and two 40-year-old men who don't normally serve in Watermark Kids were jumping out of their shoes, so excited to share with the staff how wonderful our kids' ministry was. They were sharing stories. They were like, "It was incredible. It was so creative. It was so fun. The kids were so great." They were just celebrating Watermark Kids. So we stopped the meeting, and we looked at our kids' staff, and we were like, "Can you guys pull up some videos or take us through and just walk through and recap what you taught kids?"

They just, on the spot, pulled stuff up, put it on the screens, and we just celebrated together. It was so wonderful. Then they told us the sad news that I delivered to you earlier. "Here's the sad part. We didn't have to turn anyone away on Easter, but every other week, because our volunteers have not returned… We keep asking, and we don't have enough volunteers. We had to turn away 320 people, an average of 215."

We were just grieved by that, and we thought, "You know what we need to do? We need to challenge the body, but we need to show the church what's going on over there in Watermark Kids." So, we're going to welcome two of our Watermark Kids staff up here, and they are going to walk you through an overview of what our kids learned this Easter. You guys welcome Sean Hill and KyLea Ingram.

Sean Hill: My name is Sean. For the last six years, I've been spending my Sundays hanging with some of the most fun people at this church, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Yeah. You need to hang with them. Now I get the joy of serving on the kids' team.

KyLea Ingram: I'm KyLea Ingram, and I get to serve as our elementary director in Watermark Kids.

Sean: David, shameless plug. You showed a video of your 3-year-old daughter doing Scripture verse, so I thought I'd show a video of my 2-year-old daughter also doing a Scripture verse.

KyLea: Challenge accepted.

Sean: It sounded like a joke, but now it feels awkward, because I actually did bring one. Let's watch it.

[Video]

Mother: Let…

Daughter: Children come to me.

Mother: And…

Daughter: Do not.

Mother: Do not.

Daughter: Hinder them.

Mother: Hinder them. Good job. For the…

Daughter: Kingdom.

Mother: Kingdom of…

Daughter: Heaven.

Mother: Heaven.

Daughter: [Unintelligible]

Mother: Belongs to…

Daughter: [Unintelligible]

Mother: Such as these. That's good.

Daughter: These!

Mother: Matthew 19:14.

[End of video]

Sean: She got there, and it was the verse you quoted too, so that's pretty great. A year from now she's going to be just like Annabel. Disney princesses all around. The reason I also wanted to show you that is for a moment that you didn't get to see in that video but that happens all the time. Moments like that just happen randomly, like when you're eating jelly toast, but what happens after is my daughter will say…

After she says the verse, she'll say, "Emily say. Tara say. Maddie say." She doesn't say, "Mommy and Daddy say," which is tough, but she says the names of her teachers at Starting Blocks in Watermark Kids. Our hearts are encouraged in that moment, because, literally, those teachers are partnering with us in the discipleship of our kids, and that is a sweet thing that we are super grateful for.

So, David mentioned our Easter elementary program. This year in elementary we are teaching through the Bible timeline, where we're teaching kids that the Bible is a bunch of short stories that tell one big true story: God's rescue plan through Jesus.

KyLea: We've already taught through the nine Old Testament eras, so at Easter we kicked off the New Testament, teaching through the gospel era, where we see all about the life of Jesus shown through the four gospels. We thought for Easter it would be fun to show these stories as if they were happening today, as if you could turn on the TV and see these events playing out in real time.

The kids we get in our ministry are all in various stages of their familiarity with or understanding of Scripture, so we wanted to capture their attention, those who were less familiar with the stories of Jesus that you see in the Gospels, but also those who are familiar with it who we didn't want to check out. The program included a combination of live stage elements and video elements, so we're going to walk you through a little bit of what you would have seen.

Sean: That's right. So set the scene. Picture two siblings sitting on the couch fighting over the remote. The brother wants to watch some lighter fare. The sister wants to know what's going on, so she wants to turn on the news. She gets the remote first. She turns on the TV and turns to the Good News Network where we've got our news anchors and our field reporters, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. (I see what you did there.) She turns to the news and is watching the news, and Boom! it's the sports anchor. What does the sports anchor have to say?

KyLea: Yeah, our local sportscaster, because our news doesn't just include in-field reporters. Right? It also includes sports and weather. So this first video we're going to show you is from the first night…get ready…of the Great Commission Draft. Watch this.

[Video]

Sportscaster: And with the first pick in this year's draft, the fishers of men select Simon, also known as Peter, fisherman, Galilee. An excellent, no-brainer pick here. His name literally means rock. He's got all the intangibles. He can be a bit of a hothead, but you've got to love the energy he brings.

And the hottest team in the draft of fishers of men back on the clock for the seventh pick in this year's draft, and they've chosen Matthew, also known as Levi, tax collector, Capernaum. A really strange pick here. You don't see a tax collector going in the first round, but if anybody can develop a guy like this, it's this team right here.

[End of video]

Sean: That is true. You don't see a tax collector going in the first round quite often. So, brother gets the remote back. He goes, "No, no, no." He's turning off the news. He turns to The Tonight Show with Timmy Canon, where Timmy has a guest, the famed rock climber Cliff Hanger, fresh off his documentary Free Indeed Solo. (I see what you did there.) Cliff is talking about his recent rock-climbing expedition where he was climbing on a certain mount, and he heard a certain teacher talking about things such as being the salt of the earth. Timmy Canon is like, "What is this guy's name?" and Cliff is like, "Oh yeah. Let me spell it out for you: J-E…"

KyLea: But then his sister takes the remote and turns it back to the news, and we don't hear the full name. It's important for you to know that we intentionally did not use Jesus' name throughout the program, because the people in our program don't know who he is yet. They're finding it out as they go.

What was really fun was that our Watermark kids are hearing these stories, and they start picking up on it. Anytime someone in the program starts going, "J-E…" or "Oh, what was his name? What was his name?" they're like, "It's Jesus! It's Jesus!" The kids were super pumped, like, "Hello! Get it together. It's Jesus. Come on. We know."

Sean: So fun. So, sister gets the remote back. We go back to the news where one of our field reporters is checking in on location with a little boy who was an eyewitness to a miraculous event, and we get that news report. We'll see that right here.

[Video]

Reporter: John Dallas here, live at the scene with an expert witness from what became a giant picnic. Let's talk and see what happened. Hey, little buddy. How are you doing today?

Boy: I'm good. Who are you?

Reporter: I'm John Dallas with the news. Do you want to talk to me about what happened at your picnic?

Boy: Oh. I had my lunch. I had five pieces of bread and two fish, and this guy asked me for some, and I gave it to him, because my mom always taught me sharing is caring. Then he prayed over it and gave it to his friends, and then they gave it to everybody. There was so much they were giving it to everybody. "You get some bread, and you get some bread."

Reporter: Like the lady on TV?

Boy: Just like the lady on TV.

Reporter: I love that. I know her well. Now can you tell me about how many people there might have been there?

Boy: Oh, only, like, a bajillion gazillion, or maybe like 5,000.

Reporter: Five thousand people. This man took your little sack lunch and fed 5,000 people?

Boy: And there was some left over.

Reporter: That is unreal. Did you get his name? Do you know who he was?

Boy: Uh, his name was… His name was…

[End of video]

Sean: We're having some trouble with the signal, so we'd better go to our meteorologist Jordan Rivers. (I see what you did there.) She is giving a live report in the middle of a storm where, all of a sudden, you hear a voice, and the storm suddenly stops.

KyLea: So, we pitch it back over to our news anchors, because there's nothing else to report on the weather at this point, and they go to a truly, truly terrible, tragic story about how there are no more Goldfish on store shelves. But as they're happening, they get interrupted by their producer who tells them, "Hey, breaking news. All of the stories you have been chasing down this entire time are actually connected to the same guy, and it has just been reported that he has been killed." So this is what the kids see on TV.

[Video]

Reporter: Hello. I'm Mark Antonio. I'm here tracking down a man whose fingerprints are across several stories we have covered here lately. And now I have devastating news. This man has been killed. I asked around, trying to figure out what happened, and as far as I can tell, he was perfect. Literally perfect."

[End of video]

KyLea: They turn off the TV because it's too sad and they don't want to hear any more. So, the siblings turn off the TV, and they walk offstage. At that point, another one of our elementary team members comes onstage, and she helps the kids in our audience connect everything they've seen and heard so far with the real story of the Bible. We hear about Jesus' birth, his ministry, the miracles he performed, what he taught, and ultimately, the reason he came to die, which was to die to pay the consequence for our sin.

We teach that sin is anything we think, say, or do that does not please or honor God. But Jesus did not stay dead. No. Three days later, he rose again from the dead. The people in our program, our siblings onstage, don't know the rest of the story yet. So Catherine and the kids are like, "Yes, they need to see the rest of the story. What happens when they hear the whole thing?" The siblings then come back onstage, turn the TV back on, and this is what they see.

[Video]

News anchor: This just in. We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this breaking news from Mark Antonio who's live on the scene for GNN.

Reporter: Mark Antonio. Breaking news. I'm here at the tomb, and the tomb is empty. I repeat: the tomb is empty. The man I have been looking for… He's not here. He's not dead. He is alive. I repeat: the man is alive!

[End of video]

KyLea: So our siblings jump up off the couch. They can't believe it. This is great news. They're like, "Everyone needs to know this." They jump offstage, and they run through the crowd of kids shouting, "He's alive! Did you know? He's alive!" All the while, the worship band is behind them, starting to underscore and play "Glorious Day," where we talk about how God called our name, called us out of the grave; we ran out of darkness and into his glorious day.

Sean: It is a giant celebration. It's so fun. The reason we share that is not to go "Look at how awesome Watermark Kids is." It's to show two things. First, we love teaching kids about the good news of the gospel and Jesus, but then, secondly, to show the framework that our team sets up week after week after week where we're just teeing the ball up for our volunteers to go have gospel interactions week after week after week.

I mentioned my daughter. You saw that video. Anytime she says a verse or a truth she learned at Watermark Kids, she always says, "Emily say. Maddie say. Tara say. Sharonda say," because she doesn't necessarily associate that truth with "I learned it in this class on this day." She associates it with individuals who love Jesus and love her the way Jesus loves her. That's right. Clap for that. It is awesome. We love that. We are passionate about that.

In a world that seems pretty dead set on teaching kids everything but the truth, we are dead set on teaching our kids the truth about Jesus week after week after week. So, would you pray with us for our kids and for the volunteers who are leading them right now?

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to care for kids. I pray that we would love them like you love them. God, I pray that we'd love them like you've loved us, and we've all felt that. God, would you just be with our kids right now? Would you protect them? Would you give our volunteers wisdom and compassion that comes from an abiding relationship with you? Lord, I pray that this church would be one where we love the little children like you do. God, we're grateful for the opportunity. We ask this in your name, amen.

Thank you for letting us share. We love this church, and we love you guys.

David: That's awesome. They're doing that every week. Sadly, last week, there were 320 families, and maybe more who gave up and didn't even try, that missed the opportunity to experience Jesus the way you guys just saw. So, I have one very simple application for everybody this morning: Would you consider welcoming kids to Jesus by serving in Watermark Kids?

You can go to watermark.org/servekids right now. You have two options: preschool and elementary. Pick one. If it's full, praise God; go to the other one, so that we don't ever have to say "Registration is full" anymore, so we can stop doing registration and go back to the way we did it the first 20 years. We need you guys, though, to do it.

You're going to have an application. We are going to run a background check on you. We're going to interview you. We're going to check references on you, because we have to keep our kids safe and secure. We're going to train you, but we will walk you through that whole process. We'll make it as easy as possible. But we need people next week. If you've already gone through that process and you used to serve and you just haven't come back, come back. We'll put you back in the classroom next week. We have to serve these kids.