Tucked away in the back left hand corner of our church is the TapTots room, a cute and colorful room filled with toys of every shape and size and big plastic homes for the toddlers to play in. At first glance, the TapTots room is just the place when toddlers from six months to three years old are dropped off by their parents. But the TapTots Ministry is so much more than that. Our ministry seeks to introduce the very first building blocks of a relationship with Christ to toddlers, help them to grow as they experience being separated from their parents for the first time, and to support parents by enabling them to attend church during a busy (and often sleep-deprived) season of their lives.
I have learned so much since I started serving in TapTots about two years ago, but have surprisingly learned the most about love. The TapTots love with abandon, with so much trust and happiness. They run up to us and their parents with open arms and laughter, wanting to give us hugs and tell us they love us. They are also so full of joy – unafraid to be silly and dance to worship songs, or do adorable things like try to feed us the plastic food they “cooked” in their play kitchen. Experiencing the TapTots’ love has reminded me of the way that God desires for us to approach Him and His love for us. He wants us to run into his arms with complete trust and to love us with abandon – that is why the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear, is patient and kind, keeps no record of wrongs, protects, hopes and always perseveres. I have seen so many examples of this kind of love and more while serving in TapTots. It has also helped me to understand why Jesus loved children and wanted them to come to Him, exclaiming that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
In addition to witnessing God’s love, there are also moments when I see how blessed the parents are by the TapTots Ministry. One day, a mom who was heavily pregnant and looked physically and mentally exhausted dropped off her toddler. Her toddler was going through a separation anxiety phase and was more distressed than usual, which caused them to cry over the allotted amount of time after which we decide to contact the toddler’s parents. As I headed to the sanctuary to locate this toddler’s mom, I saw her in one of the back rows with her eyes closed and her hands raised, worshipping God. I turned back, overcome by the image of her being blessed by the ability to attend service.
When I look back over the past two years, I see so clearly that God led me to the TapTots Ministry so that I could experience more of Him. I see His glory every time I see things such as the love that exists between the TapTots and their parents or the blessings that come from the TapTots volunteers’ commitment to serving the TapTots and their families. I am so grateful to be a part of the village that has sprung forth to help raise the children of our church, and pray that they will grow up to be strong, resilient and to love God with all their heart from an early age.