The Fluffy

A long time ago, a certain Barista, noted that on the weekends, parents were coming into his Coffee shop in groups, sitting about and chatting in the warm sunshine, and all the kids were getting totally bored.  So he had a “Brain Wave,” why not serve up the children a “Free Fluffy?”  So it came about, any children received a wee cup of milk, all fluffed up by the steam of the Coffee Machine, all frothy, fluffy and white, even with a wee tea spoon just like the parents had, and they could happily sit beside the adults, acting as “Big Kids,” all slurping on their Free steaming hot Fluffy.  He noted more and more groups coming in, and a happier buzz, as everyone had a steaming hot cuppa.  As the years rolled by, the kids brought in their “Special Friends,” and then wedding bells, prams, and then their kids, all sitting about in the warm sunshine, adults with a cuppa Coffee now, happily slurping, with their kids on their “Fluffy.”  Now we are down to grandchildren, who are all still coming in regularly, wheeling prams, and kids in tow, all looking forwards to being “Big People,” with their own cuppa, a day out and a Special Treat, just being “Big Kids,” and “The Fluffy.”

So why are so many kids drifting out of Church, if a small Community Coffee Shop can generate new generational customers, how come the children of Church Kids, are so regularly absent?  Oh you can be sure that the Clubs will happily sell them all the Liquor it can, Coffee Shops will gladly take their cash and Patronage, even offering a “Loyalty Card,” but how come their presence is so often absent from Church?  If a simple milky “Fluffy” works so well, how come “Drinking from the River of Life,” has no response of action?  Here the “Coffee Shop” involved the kids, yet in Church, they are just bored spectators, so often just texting and tweeting their friends seated near them, complaining, and planning what to do later, and with whom.  I once visited a Church, and it was alive and family orientated, and actually they had “Two Sermons” each time.  The first sermon, early on in the program, was presented by a 7-9 year old child, and this was for about 5 minutes, and then a few songs, and then the main sermon by an adult for about 20 minutes, final Hymn and then Benediction.  A Spiritual Tutoring adult would work with the child, helping them write out their Sermonette, and then guiding them as they practiced it until they were ready to stand up and present it, a process of practicing and teaching them presentation, pronunciation, annunciation, clear diction, modulating their voice tone, speaking at a mid-tone, and all the other necessary skills in good deportment and in presentation.

I was there early one morning, and a couple of kids were there practicing, failing, hugged and encouraged, schooled and skilled, and in a few weeks, they too would do well.  The kid doing the “Children’s Sermon,” that week totally froze up at seeing the sea of faces, so the tutor just went up front and knelt down behind them, with an encouraging hand on the shoulders, they got through, just a couple of appropriate prompts, and they did very well for a first “Sermonette,” and will do so much better next time.  Did this child just have a “Fluffy?”  Something to do, to be just like the Adults, I sure bet that Church was never going to be boring for them or for the other kids, they are “Hooked on Church.”  Each child was taken under the wing of a trusted adult, they had a “Spiritual Parent,” and they would work with them on a “Kids Sermonette,” and as they saw their friends doing well, they actually listened as they were “One of them,” and their time to do the same was coming up soon.  Those who were “Regular Kids Sermonette” speakers, got better and better at “Confidence” and “Public Speaking,” and got so much more involved in “Church,” and also what the Bible said, and they got closer to Jesus, they had just advanced from having “Their Fluffy.”

Quote; “The power of speech is a talent that should be diligently cultivated. Of all the gifts we have received from God, none is capable of being a greater blessing than this. With the voice we convince and persuade, with it we offer prayer and praise to God, and with it we tell others of the Redeemer’s love. How important, then, that it be so trained as to be most effective for good. 

The culture and right use of the voice are greatly neglected, even by persons of intelligence and Christian activity. There are many who read or speak in so low or so rapid a manner that they cannot be readily understood. Some have a thick, indistinct utterance; others speak in a high key, in sharp, shrill tones, that are painful to the hearers. Texts, hymns, and the reports and other papers presented before public assemblies are sometimes read in such a way that they are not understood and often so that their force and impressiveness are destroyed. 

This is an evil that can and should be corrected. On this point the Bible gives instruction. Of the Levites who read the Scriptures to the people in the days of Ezra, it is said, “They read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8.  By diligent effort all may acquire the power to read intelligibly, and to speak in a full, clear, round tone, in a distinct and impressive manner. By doing this we may greatly increase our efficiency as workers for Christ. 

Every Christian is called to make known to others the unsearchable riches of Christ; therefore he should seek for perfection in speech. He should present the word of God in a way that will commend it to the hearers. God does not design that His human channels shall be uncouth. It is not His will that man shall belittle or degrade the heavenly current that flows through him to the world?  We should look to Jesus, the perfect pattern; we should pray for the aid of the Holy Spirit, and in His strength we should seek to train every organ for perfect work.  Especially is this true of those who are called to public service. Every minister and every teacher should bear in mind that he is giving to the people a message that involves eternal interests. The truth spoken will judge them in the great day of final reckoning. And with some souls the manner of the one delivering the message will determine its reception or rejection. Then let the word be so spoken that it will appeal to the understanding and impress the heart. Slowly, distinctly, and solemnly should it be spoken, yet with all the earnestness which its importance demands?  {COL 335-336}  So are you serving your Kids “Their own Fluffy?”