English: A pile of potato chips. These are Utz...

Mmmm… Potato chips.  I love potato chips.  My favorite chips are the Lay’s Classic potato chips.  I remember their slogan from a while ago:  “Bet you can’t eat just one Lay’s and not one more and more.”  It’s true.  Once you eat one of those crunchy, salty potato chips you will want to eat more.  And more.  And more.  And eventually you will be thirsty.  Those chips will create a thirst in you for something.  I like ice cold water.  Yep.  That’s perfect.

Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16.  He said, “You are the salt of the earth.  But suppose the salt loses its saltiness.  How can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything.  It will be thrown out.  People will walk all over it.  You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill can’t be hidden.  Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine in front of others.  Then they will see the good things you do.  And they will praise your Father who is in heaven” (NIrV).

Can you imagine those chips without the salt?  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want them.  And I definitely wouldn’t eat more than one.  One taste of that awful chip would be enough.  I’d be done and gone.

In this passage, Jesus encourages us not to lose our saltiness.  Why?  Because He knows that we can.  We can get so busy with things in our life – even very important things – that we don’t spend time alone with God, or we don’t prepare well for our lessons that we will teach, or we just lose our enthusiasm for God and the ministry that He gave us.  We can lose our saltiness.  We need to be sure that our ministry with the kids stays salty.  Or the kids will not want to come and then they may never hear about the amazing gift that Jesus has offered to them.  As a Good News Club teacher of a club in a public school, I need my club to stay salty so that we will be a light for the kids in that school so that kids will come and see the good things that we do and praise our Father who is in heaven.

Think about the kids in your ministry.  What would they say about your class or your club?  Would they say that the activities are boring or fun?  Kids don’t want to come to things that are boring.  What about your lessons?  Do they keep your kids’ attention?  We need to learn, prepare and present our lessons well.  We can supplement object lessons, act out parts of the lessons with simple costumes, use props,….  Often I see children with little tattoos on their arms or faces.  You know the ones that you soak onto their skin with water?  Yeah, those.  They stay on the child for days and days without wearing off.  That’s what we want to happen with our lessons.  We want them to stay tattooed on the children for days and days.  Actually, even longer.  And they can.

So back to thinking about our kids.  Would they say that when they are in our class or our club that no one notices them?  Or would they say that they feel like they are loved and cared for?  We need to be sure that every child that walks through our door knows that we care about them.  Why would they think that God cares about them if we are right there and we don’t even care about them?  We need to get down to their level so we can look them in the eyes as we talk with them about things that are important to them.  And remember their names!  Finally, would the kids say that they don’t want to come?  Or would they say that they like to come and they even invite their friends?  Is your class or club salty?

In my club, I enjoy seeing the children gain a love for God’s Word.  I use the NIrV Bible at club, but at home on my own I like the NASB version.  Check out the same passage in the NASB.  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).

Probably not real easy for children to understand, huh?  Nope.  So here’s one way to keep our clubs and classes salty.  Think like a child.  What was important to you when you were their age?  Present lessons on their level.  Plan activities that they can do well.  Play games that they enjoy playing.

Wow, there’s so much more!  So stay salty!  There will be more to come in Part 3.