Herding Kids vs. Leading Kids

A few years ago I had a discrepancy with our mortgage company. They said we owed a late payment…I did not agree. I called them. I was on hold for 20 minutes.

I explained the situation to one person. He was not authorized to change anything and advised me that the easiest solution was to pay the late fee. Um, no. So he transferred me to the next person, and I was on hold for another 20 minutes.

This person would need to do a little research into our records. Could I please hold? This went on, and on, and on. I was transferred. I was put on hold. By the end of it all, it would have been cheaper for everyone involved had I just paid the undeserved late fee.

I remember thinking in that moment “I’m just a number”. They are dealing with so many people that they don’t have time to be personal. They don’t have the margin to care about my situation. I’m at their mercy.

They’ve created a system to herd me along with the thousands of other phone calls that they receive every day. I was unimportant. I was lost in the crowd.

I hated that feeling.

We have hundreds of kids in our environments on Sunday morning. Sometimes my systematic self likes to make sure that we are moving everyone from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. Sometimes I just see the crowd.

Sometimes it can feel like we’re herding children along to the next thing.

But it can NEVER be acceptable to us to herd children.

We must instead LEAD each child into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

We have to believe that we are connecting with unique individuals who are massively loved by their Heavenly Father. They are valuable. They are important.

Every child we are leading is in a different place in her journey of faith. Some don’t know Jesus at all yet. Some are struggling to forgive a friend. Some are gathering the courage to do something big for God.

They are all different.

They are all significant.

They all deserve our attention.

When you are leading you are accepting each child right where she is, and you are helping her take the next step of faith. You connect to her uniquely. You care personally.

When you are herding you see the crowd. You are efficient. You chose the solution that fits the needs of the masses instead of the needs of the individual.

When you are herding…people get lost in the shuffle.

When you are leading…every story matters.

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Kendra Fleming leads the three-campus team at NorthPoint Kids in Alpharetta, Georgia.