I’ve been painting our hallway for what seems like forever (seriously, it’s a hallway, how long is this supposed to take!). While applying layer after layer of paint, I got to thinking about some Children’s Ministry lessons I could glean from this experience. Check out the first two lessons here. Now we continue…
Lesson #3: The first color does not always work out
We did what every good HGTV show tells you to do — we picked out half a dozen paint chips (swatches as my husband would prefer them to be called), and taped them up all over the soon-to-be-painted wall. We left them there for a week. Then we began to eliminate colors, one by one until only “White Chocolate” was left standing. I’m a bit ashamed to admit I often pick both paint colors and lipstick based on the name and “White Chocolate” seemed like a winner to me.
Here’s a little foreshadowing for you: I was wrong.
I bought a gallon and started painted while my husband was at work, because naturally, I wanted to surprise him with my fabulous home improvement. However, the color was not exactly what I expected. I’ve mentioned I didn’t buy primer? Well, I might as well. This paint was white, white, white (not even a hint of chocolate!) And WAY too bright for a small hallway. You almost had to wear sunglasses to make it through.
Of course, I needed to paint the entire hallway before decided it was the wrong color. And it wasn’t enough that I had to paint the walls — this was paneling we were covering up, so I also had taken the time to brush in color between all the little cracks. Frustrated, I headed back to store.
In Children’s Ministry, I think we all know that the first idea we have does not always work out. The first organizational technique, the first way to run Kid’s Club, the way we do the schedule, etc etc etc. It’s a learning process. It’s a refining process. However, sometimes we get stuck.
Perhaps you’ve thought about this one particular idea for weeks. Mulled it over. Talked it over. Looked at from different angles. Perhaps even prayed about it. After comparing it to the other choices, it is clear — you have winner.
You plow full steam ahead, implementing the idea with the same ferver I applied that paint. Covering up the old, on with the new! You might get an inkling that this isn’t working out, but you’ve invested in this idea.. you’ve bought the paint, so to speak, and by gone it! You’re going to use this paint! I mean… use this idea!
You take it to the finish line, filling in the cracks of doubt with your snazzy new idea. You stand back and admire the finished work only to realize.. it’s all wrong. It doesn’t work at all. Sure, maybe a new program or event was executed, but is it something that will be sustainable in the ministry? Perhaps not. Frustrated, you head back to the drawing board.
Ever had an idea or experience like this? Share it!