Question: What Good is a Church Weekday Preschool Ministry?
by Jane Patat
Answer: If your church's program is led by a prayerful, patient, spirit-led person or team, it can be a wonderful answer to the prayers of many of God's people! Whether children are at preschool all day or for only a few hours, God is working in their lives and the lives of those who teach them. Ask Mom and Dad how thankful they are to know their child is developing spiritually, socially, intellectually, and physically under the loving care of Christian teachers. Ask a grandparent who cares for his grandchild how grateful he is to have a few hours to do his errands or fellowship with his friends.
As a teacher in a church weekday preschool program, parents have told me that after asking God for friends for their child, they decided to enroll in a church weekday class and found a roomful of loving classmates! My own adult children still have several close friends that they met in our church's weekday program- friends who have shared laughter, tears, disappointment, and accomplishments (Prov. 17:17). What an answer to my prayers from when they were toddlers!
In my years of teaching in Weekday ministry, I have witnessed many un-churched families with children in our program come to find a church home as they realized they needed a stronger Christian foundation. [Heb. 10:25) And while families are certainly blessed by the benefits of an effective church weekday program, the students themselves are the living answers to the prayers of God's people. They grow in their knowledge of God and His love and begin to build their own spiritual foundations (Prov. 22:6) and in turn, they give praise back to God! (Matthew 21:6)
It is amazing to me how God works in so many different areas of a ministry to grow His Kingdom! In addition to families and children being blessed by church weekday ministries, the teachers themselves can reap harvests of divine favor. My director and fellow teachers have prayed for and encouraged each other through everything from new babies to family tragedies to empty nesting! We have welcomed new teachers and tearfully said goodbye to others, all the while praising God for answering prayers in all our lives.
There is no doubt that a God-centered, Spirit-led, Jesus-following church weekday ministry can change lives for God's Kingdom. When my youngest child was about to enter public school, I knew I wanted to go back to work during those hours. Having no clear-cut career path ahead of me, I prayed diligently, asking God to show me where to begin. Then one summer day I received a call from the director of the weekday program where my children attended. She asked me to consider teaching a 4-K class in the fall. With God's confirmation and her encouragement, I began my career! Nineteen years later, I still praise God for giving me the blessed opportunity to teach preschoolers! (Jeremiah 29:11)
What good is a Church Weekday Preschool Ministry? What good is answered prayer!
Jane Patat is a 4-year Kindergarten Teacher at Fairview Baptist Church, Greer, SC.