Friday, August 14, 2020

What is the Job of Your Church?

I'm going to say something which may surprise you; it is NOT your church's job to hand confident faith to children. If you look throughout Scripture you will see God's best plan for the handing down of confident faith is for grandparents and parents to be the people who hand it to the children He has given to them. When both sets of grandparents and the parents team up to hand down confident faith, they are powerfully effective and are able to make a strong impact on the children they love.

But, what do you do if the parents are not handing down confident faith and if only grandparents are handing down this faith? You encourage them to not give up, to continue to hand down confident faith, to continue to pray, continue to tell their grandchildren (and grown sons/daughters/inlaws) how God is working in their life. You encourage them to continue to share Scripture, continue to connect life with faith in God. Very importantly you encourage them so they do not feel guilty for the things they are not able to do, and encourage them to do what they are able to do, and to
 not give up.

This is easy to say, but it is not always easy to do. Handing down confident faith alone is often difficult. And grandparents who do this do often feel alone. But, as I wrote on my other blog -; "Whether you have a team to work with you to hand down the faith or not, you still have God and with faith in Him, like Caleb of old, and with God on our side it does not matter what we face - our challenges may be huge and we may feel like grasshoppers, but God is bigger than any challenges!"

Encourage them to not give up.

This brings us back to what I said at the start of this post . . . it is NOT the job of our church to hand down the faith to children . . . even in those cases where the parents and/or other grandparents are not handing down the faith. It is still their job. But what is the job of the church? It is as follows . . . 

  • The church has the job of coming alongside grandparents and/or parents who are handing down the faith to reinforce what the children are hearing at home. It is a huge benefit for children to hear other voices from other adults who tell them the same things about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and church. And, it is essential for this to happen all year long - not just for part of the year. Some churches take the Summer off or greatly reduce what they offer in the Summer - this is particularly difficult for families where just the grandparents are handing down the faith. This is where the church is able to make a difference - equipping grandparents/parents to teach the children they love at home. One resource to help them do this is the new series - "Life on the 'Goldilock's Planet'" You will find information about how churches are able to use this resource at a significant savings at this link.
  • The church has the job of being sure they are engaging children - and being certain they are NOT boring them. For all children, but particularly children who are brought by grandparents, it is essential for church to NOT be boring. If parents allow grandparents to bring the children to church, more and more it is only IF the children want to go. If church is boring, the children are most likely going to choose to stay home. And, when church is boring it is sending the wrong message - a lie -about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and church - the message they are boring. This is NOT the truth, but it is the loud message which comes across when the Children's Ministry/Youth Ministry are boring.
  • The church has the job of providing opportunities for children and teens to make friends, and build healthy relationships with other children who love and walk with God. God wants the church to be a place where people who love Him come together and connect, encourage one another, and build those strong relationships - the community. This needs to be true for children and teens, too.
These three things are essential for our churches - where you have strong teams of grandparents and parents who team up together and hand down confident faith . . . and where you do not.

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