Friday, 14 June 2013

Whose Job?

I love serving the children in our church. I love the way they ask questions that adults would be too embarrassed to ask. I love their simple acceptance and faith. And I love the way they snigger about burps and farts one minute, and then pray the most eloquent prayers you will ever hear the next. They are inspiring, refreshing and harder to please than the average adult who sits in a sermon. Sometimes I learn more when I am with the kids than I do when I'm listening to a preach (If you are one of those who preaches in my church, sorry, but it's true!).

But 'Sunday school', 'kids club' or anything else you want to call it, whilst beneficial and a lot of fun, is not actually where our children grow in their faith. It's not the responsibility of the children's worker to teach our kids about God, it's ours.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say 'Children's workers, thou shalt take on the burden for growing the children in your groups to be followers of Jesus'. In fact, in Bible times, Children's workers didn't even exist!

Rather, we as parents are told to impress these truths on our children. "Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (Deuteronomy 6). I think God knew that children aren't very good at listening when they are sitting still. That's why He suggests that we just bring truth into everything we do. We can walk to school and chat about God. We can eat a meal and discuss spiritual truths. We can think about what it means to follow Jesus when we lie down at night. This isn't the job of a Children's worker, it's the job for a parent.

It's our job to disciple our children. It's our privilege to introduce them to Jesus. It is our role to model following Him. If we don't do this, our kids will never know how to work out their faith in real life. If we don't admit mistakes or ask God for help in front of our children, they will never know that it's ok to show weakness. If we don't actively feed ourselves on God's word, our children will find unsatisfactory nourishment from elsewhere. If we are not full of the Holy Spirit, and teaching our children of their need for Him, they will not be all they can be in God. If we are not passionate about making disciples of others, and being people who will 'go' then our children will settle for less than they were made for. If we don't introduce our tweens and teens to wholesome and inspirational role models, they will look up to those who do not have the same values as us. Raising children is one of the most challenging environments to live out our faith in. They watch everything we do and hear everything we say. Scary, but true.

This is possibly the most important thing we will ever do in our lives. Let's not make excuses or pass the buck anymore. Let's 'man up' and serve our church and our community by raising radical disciples of Jesus who will follow Him whatever the cost.

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