Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A first....

I became the proud recipient of a "First" today.

For the first time ever in my years as a children's pastor (and some of you will say: "eh? It's taken THIS long????) a volunteer came up to me and with a little cough said he had to tell me that he got nits from the kids club this week. He hadn't been anywhere else where children were. I didn't know what to say!! (apart from to take a big step back. They can jump, you know) But it is true, as our local school has repeated infestations just now, and nearly all of the children attend this school.

No, seriously, my first thought was to say sorry on behalf of ::::name of church::::: - and he was laughing (he is brand new to our church as well!) - but we both shrugged and laughed. There's not much else you can do, apart from dicuss combs and treatments. And accept it as part and parcel of the wonderful world of children's ministry.

So far I have personal experience of each of the following:
- children throwing up during the programme
- children wetting themselves during the programme
- children doing inappropriate things with parts of their bodies during the programme
- children pulling a wobbly tooth out, which otherwise would have remained in place for at least another fortnight, during the programme
- children picking their noses with a vengeance during the programme - making sticky balls of snot, eating it, flicking it, seeing how long a trail they can make with it etc etc whilst you teach about their position in Christ without throwing up
- children picking scabs off till they bleed is a weekly occurrence, then making prints on the floor with the seeping blood
- one of my deputies cleaned up lumps of poo from the floor in the middle of the holiday club programme 3 years ago (I escaped that one!!)

Goes back to something I said a while ago - those in children's ministry have to be prepared to not just cope with but be able to clean up whilst proclaiming God's word in a multi-media, encompassing-as-many-learning-styles-as-possible, stimulating, relevant, nurturing, Holy Spirit-empowered teaching programme with fun, relevance, balance and theological content. Whilst loving, loving, loving these precious little ones :-)

And folks wonder why I love all age services :-) :-)

If any of the above happens, parents/carers are at hand!


  1. Hazel4:25 PM

    Re headlice - I have also already emailed said children's worker to syampathise as been there, done that, bought the T Shirt! My daughter's school, which is not the same one as the one you mention also seems to be crawling -literally. I wonder what it was about my schooldays (70s/80s!) when we lived in fear of headlice but (speaking personally!) never ever got them. Why are they so rife today?! Is climate change/cleaner hair responsible?!
    Why did God create them? What are they for?! I'm sure there's a thesis out there to be written!
    Thought seems to be divided on whether head lice can jump or not. Many peope say they can only crawl.
    Yes, all part of the fun/challenge!

  2. I obviously haven't been in Children's ministry long enough - haven't seen many of the horrors you list! I know we need to count the cost, but this is ridiculous!
    I have no idea why God created the little blighters. Same goes for midges actually (or midgets as your son calls them!)
    V x

  3. I'd love to email NT Wright and ask where headlice fit into God's eschatological purposes.

    Maybe they entered with the fall!

  4. Hmmmm, he does have his own webpage.....

  5. Now I've read that post and those comments my head is itchy!

    I posted on my blog yesterday (8/5/08)about what heroes I think those who work with kids are, and now I find I've missed another important reason - they deal with nits and bodily fluids (when my eldest was a wee girl I said, jokingly, I was going to eat her all up. She said, "Oh no, mummy. I'm full of blood and sick and piddle and poo")!

  6. Greetings Ann! Lovely to meet you here - I guess you were a lurker now unveiled and all it took was a few nits :-)

    Shall go and check your post out now.

    Thank you!

  7. PM

    I can add fleas, scabbies and spitting (at leaders and in juice) to the list! Oh the glamorous life we lead!!!
    Lorraine :)

  8. a camp once we had a kid swallow the liquid from a glowstick and then throw up luminous purple vomit in the middle of the night. It was a blessing in some way - at least they could see it in the dark to clean it up! :D

  9. Hi Amie, how are you? I was just thinking about you!

    Love this story, made me laugh so much!!

  10. Lorraine,
    you've got it worse than me.
    Only my friend Susan has experienced scabies
    Spitting - not in my current job, but pools of grog at the back of the classroom in my past job......

  11. Teehee, I'm good thanks! Finished uni and just awaiting exam results. Other than that I'm just working part time and keeping myself busy around the church. I officially start ICC in September. Wahey! How are you?


  12. I am the aforementioned friend Susan who got Scabies on teacher training placement in Cambuslang many moons ago.

    But have had headlice from my own kids, who I comb productively on a regular basis!!!

  13. and I do remember I wasn't allowed to visit you..........!!

  14. Guaca - the bleeding scabs is in our younger groups more than the peer conscious 8 to 11s. I own a small boy who's doing the "nose balls" and the "scabs" just now.....

  15. A further thought, Lynn.

    In the jail I work in, we have an "Industrial Cleaning Party" (party as in group not as in party!!) of prisoners. It always has a specially trained prisoner on call for "minor blood and body fluid spills".

    (I'd love to phone the officer in charge of them one day and say, "My nose is running. It's a minor body fluid spill. Send someone with a hanky, please").

  16. eeeeeek, what a job title.

    Imagine what mine could be:

    Multi-tasking Trainer of Tots

    etc etc


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