Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Equip and Back Them Up

As people who serve in a Children's Ministry, we are clearly people who care about reaching children with the truth of who God is and how they are able to trust and believe in Him. This is a core part of any Children's Ministry. But, there are other vital, core things for us to focus upon as well and if we do not, we will continue to see the children we care about grow up and leave the church. 

For generations we at church have taught children about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible and how they are able to know and walk with Him. But, so many of these same children grow up and leave the church - and Barna's recent studies are showing they are no longer returning when they have children as they once did. We are not able to say we did our job when they were children and it is some other area of the church who has to take responsibility for them leaving when they grew up - and responsibility for getting them back. We are not able to say this, because we bear some of the responsibility, too.

Yes, it was our "job" to help introduce children to Jesus, but not only and not primarily, our "job". It is first and foremost the "job" of parents and grandparents to hand down confident faith to their children and grandchildren. God created it this way.  It is our "job" to supplement what parents and grandparents do and to equip them, so they are able to hand down confident faith. Faith is most effectively handed from grandparent and parent to children and when grandparents and parents walk and talk with God, children are much more likely to learn to do the same. When children learn to walk and talk with God from the people who are most influential in their lives (their grandparents and parents), they are more likely to continue to walk and talk with God throughout their lives.

If we are serious about seeing children learn to know, walk and talk with God, we have to be serious about equipping grandparents and parents, so they are able to hand down confident faith to these children. Then we come alongside and engage children at church, so they have what their grandparents and parents teaching them reinforced and modeled by other adults in their lives. We help encourage strong friendships with other children who know, walk and talk with God and when we do these things, we are doing our "job".

Don't think your "job" is only to introduce children to Jesus. It is so much more and you are able to make a significant difference in the lives of children - and their grandparents and parents, too. Equip them and back them up.

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