This past week marked the first chapel services of our 2019-20 preschool year. For those who don’t know, Shepherd of the Valley hosts a preschool with 140 enrolled students, three- and four-year-olds eager to learn about each other, life, and school! Seeing them walk down the halls singing and playing is always a joy! Each month we gather for chapel services, remembering and hearing more about God.
Our Director of Youth and Family Ministries, Sara Manning, and I lead chapel services along with the preschool directors and staff. Figuring out content is always a challenge. We need to share material that’s appropriate for three-year-olds, respectful of their different backgrounds and traditions, but also meaningful and true.
Leading preschool chapel forces us, as leaders, to delve down into our core beliefs. We ask, “What aspects of our relationship with God are foundational and indispensable?” Anything that isn’t absolutely at the center has to be left out. It might not apply to all of our children, or it might be too hard to understand at such a young age.
As we started our year, we wanted to get three simple concepts across:
These seem simple, but how many of us lose our way, finding doctrines or beliefs that do not reflect these values? We suspect God is against us, or exists only to judge us. We say God judges us on how right we are or how perfectly we live. So much harm has been done to the world, and to its people, when we forget those three, simple affirmations.
That’s why we wanted to start early, raising a new generation to understand the God who cares about them and about all the people around them. As we trust in this, decisions become easier, ways forward become clearer, and our lives transform.
Does your faith still rest on those affirmations? If not, is whatever you’re trusting in as important and sure as they are? It wouldn’t hurt any of us to remember that God exists for goodness, that God loves us, and that God brings us together to care about each other today.