Occasionally, when I conduct tours for prospective families, I am asked something like, “How deep does your curriculum get into Christianity?” My answer is always the same; alongside academics, we teach our little lambs age-appropriate principles aimed at sharpening good character, which is a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The response usually involves a drawn-out “okay” with either a stare into the distance or rapid blinks. I can’t say that I understand what that means, but I usually follow up with “Do you have any questions?”
Maybe this question is presented because I often refer to the center as a ministry, opposed to a business. Notice I did not say a church, but a ministry. Because of how ministry is described and portrayed through social media and other outlets, people overcomplicate and misunderstand what ministry is. Simply put, ministry means service. So, Little Lambs is a ministry because we serve families looking to place their child(ren) in a Christian academic setting.
When I think of Jesus and how He sat with “commoners.” He taught them about the Kingdom of Heaven and how to get there. That “how” was not made up in ecclesiastical acts but in the inner transformation that shaped the character of those who would become citizens of Heaven. These people are made of faithfulness, justice, love, compassion, goodness, gratitude, mercy, kindness, hard work, purpose, and so much more. What's so “deep” about that? Jesus taught while just sitting with the people and even feeding them. Looking at the Gospel from that perspective, you will see that Christianity is not as complicated as it may seem. Scriptures like John 3:16 and Matthew 6:33 express the simplicity of the Gospel.
I was talking to someone, and I told them if we were to have a few people look at a building depending on where they were positioned, you would have a different point of view for every person. I want you to imagine childcare as that building. Some people are looking from the north, others the south, some the east, and some the west. Some may look at it and say it's an opportunity to change lives, some may see a lucrative business venture, and someone else may see it and say it’s a community need. Nonetheless, when I see this building, I think of providing families with a service that would be a vast and beautiful impact for generations. Childcare, from my perspective, is an honorable ministry.
I want to share something with you; I would not be in this if it were a career choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love children and sincerely desire to see them succeed. However, if it were just a career choice, there are several other talents, credentials, and passions that I would choose. But, when I told God “yes, ” I decided to prioritize ministry over career and business. In this, children and their success have become my passion. So I devote much of my talents, credentials, and time to fulfilling the vision God gave me for the little ones.
So, to answer the question: Can childcare be a ministry? The answer is most certainly, yes!