Daron's Soap Box: Children are Part of Our Church Now
CHILDREN ARE PART OF OUR CHURCH NOW
17 Jul, 2014
I have a dream! I have a dream that our churches will be places where children are welcomed now as full participants in our congregations and not sidelined into a holding pattern until some future day or moment. Children are part of our church now! They can contribute to our worship and mission now! Churches that fail to integrate, involve and welcome children into our intergenerational settings are missing out on so much when it comes to worshipping God as the full body of Christ.
Recent research says that children need to be at the centre just has Jesus instructed us to do while he was here on earth. Research by Roland Martinson, Wes Black and John Roberto (2010) discovered the following…
"Our research discovered that there are four spheres of relationships and practices that intersect and powerfully impact the lives of our young people.
Congregations that keep their young people (children) are thoroughly intergenerational. Young people (children) are welcomed and expected to participate and lead in church-wide ministries, including worship, education, fellowship, outreach, and decision making.Second, these congregations have good age-level ministries marked by trusted relationships and custom-designed ministry practices and activities within a caring atmosphere of high expectation that encourages respect, growth and belonging. Third, these congregations educate parents in the faith and equip them for at-home caring conversations, prayer, ritual, bible reading and service; and parents and the whole family are engaged in faith practices at home. Fourth, these congregations are blessed with competent, faith-filled leadership from the top down who are committed to young people and developing their faith lives."
I am just wondering how your congregation stacks up when it comes to these four crucial spheres of influence? Whilst there are no guarantees that our kids will stay (we are all free moral agents) I believe that we as churches and families can do a lot better when it comes to keeping our kids.
(Daron hops off his soap box and mumbling wanders on into the crowded street!)
For further resources for church and home please visit the children's ministries resources section of this website.