In the 1980s, the Wendy’s hamburger chain used a commercial shown across North America and Canada featuring an elderly actress named Clara Peller who receives a competitor’s burger with a massive bun (the competitor’s slogan was “Home of the Big Bun”). The small patty prompts the gruff Peller to angrily exclaim, “Where’s the beef?”

In evaluating children’s ministry, we must ask Clara’s question, “Where’s the beef?” Have we become the “Home of the Big Bun”? Have we forgotten what it is like to have a “real” hamburger? What I am seeing is that we have all of the “fixin’s” associated with the hamburger and settling for a tiny portion of the hot and juicy meat patty.

We can’t settle for the status quo. The bun and “fixin’s” aren’t enough. Let’s follow Paul’s admonition to Timothy. Let’s “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Let’s expect the Spirit of God to manifest His presence with children being born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, healed, and set free from strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation. Let’s expect the Holy Spirit to make His presence known by His visible demonstrations of power.

What will happen as we cry out “Where’s the beef?” and begin to expectantly long for the Spirit of God to move among us? We will see the same results as the psalmist David when he said, “I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1, The Amplified Bible). Jesus will once again walk among us by His Spirit. We will see Acts 1:3 begin to happen in our services. “To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations [unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God.” (The Amplified Bible).