Summer is FINALLY here – yay! With summer comes tons of fun activities. I don’t know about you, but it is a great time for me to participate in my favorite sport. No, it is not golfing. Not water skiing. My favorite sport is PEOPLE-WATCHING! (Hey, don’t judge. It could be a sport…many times I am walking while doing it….) And, of course, with summer comes that super fun water activity – swimming – and all the different fun places to swim. Lakes, backyard pools, a pool at the health club, the river, the ocean. Different people flocking to different places looking for the same thing. Fun in the sun and water.

Have you ever watched people at these places? I mean, REALLY watched them? People approach water in a variety of ways. Some people I call the “Tip-Toers.” These are the individuals who walk up to the water, wherever it is, and dip just a tiny bit of one foot into the water. Testing it. Is it cold? They don’t like cold water. At all. They might stand there for a VERY long time, just checking things out. Then maybe they go in. But more than likely, they go back and sit on a towel or chair and just look at all that water and wait. For what, nobody knows.

Then there are the people I call the “Water-Waverers.” These people (often kids) walk up to the water. They look. They get in. Get really wet. Look like they are having SO MUCH FUN. Then they get out. Grab their towel. Dry off. But not for long. Before you know it, they are back in the water again. Over and over they do this, all day. You can usually find these kids by looking for their mothers. They are the ones who are scrambling looking for an extra dry towel to wrap around the child who has come out of the water soaking wet for the THOUSANDTH time, the moms with looks of total consternation on their faces.

Occasionally, though, you see the “All In-ers” These are the ones who walk confidently towards a body of water and simply dive in. No toes dipped in. No sitting on a towel in the sand just waiting for the right moment or water temperature. Just one smooth move. Others watch and imagine the rush of adrenaline the diver must feel as water washes over his/her body in one amazing moment.

This Sunday was the first Sunday in July. And July is the month Children’s Ministry encourages our year-long volunteers to take a month off. This is also the month we get some AMAZING NEW volunteers to fill in and make sure that kiddos in every class continue to feel cared about and continue to learn how to love Jesus as their Forever Friend. And, this Sunday, as I watched new volunteers come into the classrooms, I enjoyed watching how many volunteers were willing to simply “dive in” and get completely immersed in the fun of investing in kids. ‘Cause we have all been there. Walking into a busy class with kids all talking at once and asking questions and looking to us for answers and security. A frightening ocean of faces. The sound of classroom activity louder than crashing waves on the beach.

And for many of us, the fear of cold water is simply too much. We are content to let other people play in the water. We will watch. And admire. And appreciate. But we will stay on the sand. On our comfortable beach chair. Maybe grab a sandwich.

But for others, there is the realization that the feeling of going “all in,” the risk of diving in and making oneself vulnerable to what MIGHT be bone-chilling cold water inevitably ends up with something completely different. The exhilaration of seeing little children light up when YOU walk in the room. Of hearing sweet voices telling YOU all about their new puppy. Their best birthday ever. Or their hardest moment yet. The GIFT of being able to pray with them. Share with them the love of Jesus.

If you served in a class this past Sunday, THANK YOU! If you will be serving in the next few weeks, we can’t wait to see you! AND, if you do not see yourself as someone who dives head first into new and scary bodies of water, we understand. But let this serve as an invitation and as a word of encouragement.

Just step to the edge. Take a deep breath. Dive on in. And rest assured.

This water’s warm.

Melinda Lamera
Sun Grove Children’s Ministry