There are a lot of yardsticks I use to measure my "success" when I speak to a group, and I tend to pick and choose according to the situation. When it's a group of kindergarten-through-fourth-graders, that yardstick is "Did anyone get hurt?"
As part of our church's Missions Conference, yesterday while everyone else was in big church Pat and I faced off with 17 of the K-4 clan as we talked with them about how they can impact missions. Sorry, I guess "faced off" makes it sound rather adversarial. Not at all. Oh sure, there was a lot of fidgeting and talking out of turn and getting distracted -- but the kids were doing those things, too, not just us.
The goal was to teach them they can make a difference by giving, praying, and going. For giving, we created a little economy with the kids forgoing something they really wanted for awhile in order to save up money to give to other kids who'd been deemed missionaries. For praying, we designated another set of kids who represented actual missionaries K & P know around the world, and the gang prayed for their real needs. For going, they would draw pictures of how they'd go and help the last group of designated missionaries where they live. It was genius, poetry, wonderful. Then the kids showed up and we actually got started.
Okay, so I'm mostly tongue-in-cheek with this. It was wild but fun. They knew more going into it than we realized, but we still got them to think about some things they hadn't before. One point we hammered home (figuratively) was that you can serve God around the world in just about any vocation -- athlete, musician, truck driver, doctor, film maker... I think they really got it.
And nobody got hurt. Success.
Shout outs to Caitlyn and Clint for providing the muscle. And Geoff -- whatever HUGE favor we owed you, we're even. :)