Day one is over. I feel like I’ve been mauled by Lions. And I feel like that despite the club only lasting 2 ½ hours.
Friends in South Africa run them all day so that parents can drop off their cherubs before work and collect them when they return home. Praise the Lord for their greater godliness!
“The Pathfinders ate the leftover Gingerbread men!”
Here are some points to note in order to understand the significance of this slightly irate comment from our Leader who is overseeing the cookery activity:
- Pathfinders are 11-14 year olds. They’re part of the team running the holiday club. Their jobs are behind-the-scenes including organising the drink and biscuits for half-time, operating Powerpoint and bringing equality to the teams in games of Chair-ball.
- We are doing a Holiday Club whose theme is, “A global sporting festival that occurs every 4 years”. (Amazingly the legal powers representing a similar, well known event, taking place in London this year, care about tin pot organisations stealing their branding.)
- The children are decorating these Ginger bread men to look like athletes from various disciplines competing in the fore-mentioned global sporting festival. Apparently the children’s swimmer-ginger-bread-men, complete with goggles, were a particular triumph.
- We offer this cookery activity for each of the four days, so leftover gingerbread men from day one would have been used on day 2. Except now, that cookery leader is at home baking the extra ginger bread men required to get through tomorrow, unexpectedly.
This unexpected consumption of naked ginger bread men illustrates the tension of welcoming 11-14 year olds to the Holiday Club team. They bring enthusiasm. They are excellent role models for the older children in the club. They demonstrate to visiting parents that our Church is a place where people of every age thrive. They are also great fun and willingly do the jobs we need doing. But… We are trying to train them to appreciate service rather than consumption. In this case they consumed rather than served. In contrast, our adult leaders understand that when the biscuits arrive, the children help themselves first, and if there are any left over, then it’s each man(/woman) for themselves. Our leaders serve, and those teachers, in particular, who spend their half term with 130 new children deserve special praise.
It is a hard discipline to learn that when we serve, there may not be a moment when we get to consume. The hours may pass and there may be no moment when we get exactly what we want. We pray for the self control to willingly serve, with real joy, even when we don’t get a Ginger bread man. It doesn’t say that, “Even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve (except for those moments when he chumped his way through vital Gingerbread men)”