Nine-year-old Marty loved Bill his Sunday school teacher. On Sunday mornings, he could hardly wait to get to church to be with Bill. Bill would call from time to time, and they would chat on the phone, or Bill would send him a postcard just to tell him how special he was.
One Sunday when Marty arrived at church, Bill was very excited. He told Marty that he had just purchased a new fishing pole and was planning to go fishing the following Saturday. He invited Marty to go with him, if his parents consented.
Marty was so excited! After Sunday school, he made a mad dash to find his mom and see if it would be O.K. Marty’s parents knew Bill well, and they were excited that he wanted to spend a day with their son, so they told Marty that it would be great. Marty ran back into the room to tell Bill that he would be able to go with him.
Bill was also excited and they made arrangements regarding their day of fishing.
Marty could hardly wait until Saturday morning. He told all his friends at school about his great Sunday school teacher who was going to take him fishing.
Friday evening rolled around and Marty’s family went out for dinner. When they returned from dinner, there was a message on the answering machine. It went something like this.
“Hey buddy, this is Bill. I really hate to do this to you, but I know you’ll understand. I was just given tickets to the UCLA – USC football game tomorrow. I know you were really counting on going fishing but we’ll do it another time, O.K., buddy? Love ‘ya. See ‘ya Sunday.”
Marty’s mother told this story.
She had just read a brochure on the emotional needs of children. After reading the brochure, Marty’s mom said that it was at that time that Marty suddenly changed his attitude about going to church. She hadn’t made the connection before.
As we prepare to provide the most excellent ministry we can for the children whom God sends to us it is vital that we consider each child’s emotional needs.
WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS
OF THE CHILDREN?