The Ministry of Play

Jan 15th 2009

So here is what I did on my Christmas Vacation – aka my short-term mission trip to Myanmar. I preached a message entitled Jesus is the One on Christmas Day to a gathering of 1500+ Buddhist Villagers and orphanage Children, at least two Buddhists and one Muslim decided to become Jesus-followers that day. I baptized 30 people, including the three 3 day-new Jesus-followers. I preached a message on Sunday entitled The Church at It’s Best and participated in an ordination service for two pastors and a missionary-evangelist. I met with the leaders of Calvary Theological Seminary, the school we have helped to start. I participated in a dedication service for the school building Calvary helped to build. I toured a Farm Center that Calvary helped to start and two orphanages that our 1% offering will help to build next year. Oh yeah, I also gave a talk on leadership to the first students of the Calvary school.

Meanwhile, among other things, Lynn and my children, Sarah, Katy, Jacob and Josh played with the children – everyday. They held children. They hugged children. They blew bubbles with children. They did crafts with children. They held hands with and tickled children. They bounced children on their laps. They played basketball with children and soccer with children. The children taught them rubber band games and how to count to ten. They laughed with children and did puzzles with children. They gave candy to children and broke up a couple of fights – usually over the candy. In other words they played.

I will be honest – and I am not just saying this to make them feel good – their ministry here was more important than mine. Anybody can preach and pray and dedicate and tour…but it takes someone who is great in the Kingdom of God to be able to play. And play is what those kids needed more than anything I brought. Playing with someone is a very simply, very profound, very innocent way of simply saying, I like being with you, no agenda, let’s play. Think about it, Jesus said that we can’t even get into the Kingdom of God, if we don’t become like children.

Don’t worry I played a little bit too, it’s just that the rest of my family did it better.