These Kids...

Having children and youth in church, to me, is very important. That sounds like a duh! statement, but let me go a little deeper.

I think I understand when people say they are "the church of tomorrow." As sincere as I think the people are who say that, I've got to disagree just a little. They are just as much a part of the church today as they will be tomorrow (whenever that is). We've got the us and them syndrome a lot of times in church. Our children are just on a different part of their faith journey. Who they are right now, is a part of what makes our church, every church who and what it is. Their presence should remind us of Christ's words "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

They teach us so much about our faith, remind us of our calling and help keep our focus. That amazingly sounds like some functions of a sermon.

Here are some thoughts:
  • Why is it so many adults think Christian Education (you know actually learning about the Bible) is just for kids? It's called Sunday school for kids, but Bible study for adults (I'm still considering that statement; don't stake me for it yet). I'm talking more about those who would never participate in a study, or those who drop their kids off and make like Boeing and jet away.
  • Youth Sunday is a intentional time the church encourages youth to participate in leading worship. They are not on display. I really don't like the term Youth Sunday, but it seems we have to have some term for it and I can't come up with anything better. When they are on display, people decide if they want to be there for it (like attending a show). If one youth participates, as far as I'm concerned, we've done something right.
  • Why do we hold children/youth to different (higher) standards? If a child "messes up" as an acolyte or other role, they need to learn what they are doing or something like that. But when an adult messes up, they're nervous? Children who can't find a trash can need to learn respect, but adults who don't....?
  • Children and youth who don't always stay the quietest are rowdy; an adult's cell phone ringing....?
  • Children need to learn what's important about church; adults complain about which songs we sing and where we sit every week.
I'll quit while I still have friends. This isn't intended to be a lashing. Rather, I would like us to consider what we say we believe about kids and how we translate that into ministry in church. And don't get me wrong; we're not talking about having children run the church (though pizza on Communion Sunday doesn't sound too shabby). That is not their role (necessarily...there I go again) yet.

Have you hugged a youth today?

Stay blessed...john

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