Think with the end in mind.
Such a valuable part of leading small with our few, but it can be elusive sometimes when you are living in preschool world! There are Sundays where it’s hard to see beyond that gentle, quiet Harper, who has many things that happened in her world this week, but Annie won’t be quiet long enough for her to share. Or just when you have your entire group really engaged in that great game to get them thinking about the Bible story they are going to hear, Sammy shows up with his collection of plastic dinosaurs (or lizards, or dragons) insisting that they each get to have their turn. Then there is the Sunday that one of your few who is not very regular — Kenny in my world – is present but only wants to talk about zombies (Yes, in preschool. Note to self: maybe I need to gently find out what he is watching on tv.) How is it possible to contemplate higher, nobler ideals like “thinking with the end in mind?”
In the midst of all these thoughts, God, in a way only He can orchestrate, reminded me what it looks like to think with the end in mind. In “big church” amongst the adults, the words to a song hit me with such forceful reality. “I see a generation rising up to take their place, with selfless faith, with selfless faith. . .” All the faces of my few started popping into my brain: Harper and Annie, Sammy and Kenny. They are the generation that I am going to see rising up to take their place. I am honored to introduce them to God who loves them and made them and Jesus who wants to be their friend forever. What a unique opportunity to speak into Harper’s gentle and quiet nature, and encourage her to share. Before long she’ll be an elementary student, then a middle schooler, and then a high school student encouraging other gentle spirits. And Annie? Part of what I get to do is direct that boundless energy and take charge attitude into being a leader, not afraid to face challenges, but respecting those she leads. Sammy and his imagination and endless collection of amphibians and other critters? He may be the one crafting and creating words that will capture the hearts and attention of preschoolers yet to arrive on this planet. I’m not sure yet about Kenny and his love of zombies. . . maybe he’ll be a great student pastor someday!
Thinking with the end in mind for your few preschoolers is all about seeing their potential, but never losing sight of who they are now and fully loving and accepting them right where they are.
What are your challenges in thinking with the end in mind for your preschool few?