Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail!

On Palm Sunday, as we do every year, we celebrated the Easter season with our junior church class. I prepared a full-fledged lunch and treats the kids always love, and planned a few games and activities.

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. – Mark 9:36, 37

But because I’ve done similar parties for a number of years now, I didn’t put as much thought into the festivities as I usually do.

Image by Alexa_Fotos from Pixabay


As well, I’d had an unusually stressful week; so, on Saturday night I “treated” myself to eating anything I wanted and watching some of my favorite shows, long after everyone else was in bed. All of that felt wonderful at the time.

Not so much the next morning.

I awoke overtired and a bit sick to my stomach. I was too rushed to pray and too headachey to listen to a sermon or Christian music.

So, I left the house unprepared to deal with the unusual rowdiness of my class that day. Though storybooks usually hold them spellbound, the children had no interest in listening to my daughter, Shae, read a beautifully illustrated account of the Resurrection. They weren’t all that interested in the Easter fun facts or silly games that they had enjoyed in the past. They did appreciate all the goodies, but beyond that, they seemed most interested in winding each other up and cheering on one another’s antics than in anything else.

I always try to incorporate a clear gospel message into my class sessions, particularly during Christmas and Easter. But by the end of the party, I realized that I hadn’t had – or hadn’t made – the opportunity to do that, despite the fact that a visitor was attending.

Image by Andrea Linja from Pixabay


What in the world was wrong with me? And what had happened to my usually sweet group of kids?

Honestly, my lack of preparation was what happened, and Satan or one of his minions could have taken advantage of that as well.

No matter that I’ve been teaching junior church Bible classes for about twenty years – I still need to prepare! “Winging it” won’t bring about the best possible results.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


It is only through Christ, prayer, and preparation that I can have any sort of success in ministry. At minimum, success means to me that each child will regularly hear the gospel message in my class, and that by the time each grows out of my class, each one will be saved.

That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. – John 17:23b

Have you had a harrowing ministry experience? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it? I’d love to hear your story.

because home wasn't built in a day

7 thoughts on “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail!”

  1. Last Sunday we had our big concert and a beautiful piece we had worked on all semester that had a narrator was a bust because his microphone didn’t work. It sounded beautiful in dress rehearsal too. I’m totally kicking myself that I didn’t just stop and sort out sound issue but it is very difficult to know what to do in the moment. Wasn’t sure if the microphone was working or not…anyway it cast a cloud over the rest of the concert for me. Your piece about preparation and prayer resonated with me. An important reminder. I do think it is important to relax and be confident and comfortable. Sounds like to me the kids may have had too many sweets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, that same thing has happened to me, with a microphone whose batteries died, during a Christmas concert. So difficult to decide what to do! I ended up just holding the mic at my side and trying to project. But as you said, it’s hard to just roll with those situations after putting in so much practice time. And, yes! I think sugar also played a role in my kids’ crazy behavior for sure. 🍬🍭🍫😁


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