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!