This week I’ll be covering some of the more dumb things I’ve ever done as a Children’s Pastor. Be sure to visit www.jonathancliff.com/tags/dumbthings to keep up with all the dumb-ness happening here this week!
Today’s edition of “Dumb Things” is a more recent addition. Many of the boys that we have in our ministry are products of a single-mom household. They’re great kids, but many of these boys are in desperate need of some physical touch and tossing around. These boys are growing up without wrestling matches, and tackle take-downs in the living room. I know which boys are which and often times will greet them lightheartily with a fist punch to the arm, or maybe challenge them to an arm wrestling match. Trust me, I don’t wrestle with other peoples kids; but I do the things I can do to bring some physicality to my relationships with boys that I know need it. It’s a love language for 4th and 5th grade boys, and it helps me open them up during small group time.
So a few months ago I was leading a group of 5th grade boys in a small group environment. I purposefully leaned into one of the boys as I sat down in the small group time, as I moved to sit on the floor. This boy then thought I was really saying, “Bring it on, it’s wrestle time!” He jumps on my back and starts pulling hair, yelling wrestling terms. The entire time I’m yelling, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! It is not wrestle time!” Horrified, I finally convinced him to stop and we did an arm wrestle match instead.
So what’s the lesson learned in this scenario? The boys are anxious for physical contact, and want to wrestle…but I’m not the guy for the job. Not in small group time, and not at church on a Sunday morning!