Children Ministries

The mission of Children's Ministries's leaders and teachers is to reach out to children and draw them into a loving, productive and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ and with their church and to train, resource, and support those who minister to children.

The mission statement for Children's Ministries is best understood in the context of the great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (NIV).

Children's Ministries recognizes that making disciples is a specialised work, because children are special.  They have special needs and speak a special level of language, and have their own special perspective on life, love, and learning.

 

Spiritual Development

Are children too young to learn about Jesus? No, a recent study found that 85 % of people made their decision for Jesus between the ages of 4 to 14 years old.

 

What did Jesus have to say about children?

Jesus had much to say about the role of adults in the spiritual development of children, and about the spiritual lessons to be learned from children. He also gave us His example to guide our actions in training our children.

The following article is about the role of adults in the spiritual development of children. It is adapted from a sermon by Audray Johnson, Director of Family Ministries, Seventh-day Adventist Church , South Eastern California.

 

Jesus Honored Children/Jesus identified closely with children

Jesus honored children and taught us about their spiritual development. Mark 9:37 describes Jesus holding a little child in His arms and saying, 'Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me.'

 

Jesus elevated the faith of children

Matthew 18:3 states, 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.' Jesus holds up the faith of a child as a standard for entrance into His kingdom.

 

Jesus warned about causing children to sin

In the early verses of Mark 9, the disciples had been in dispute over who should be the greatest and they were somewhat uncomfortable with Jesus' object lesson in Mark 9:37. After trying to skirt the issue with another question, Jesus drew the disciples back to His point about children, specifically the influences of those guiding the children. 'And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck' (Mark 9:42). Jesus is talking about anything that adversely affects the child's belief in Him - attitudes and actions that lead a child away from God, discourages him or her, or does something that would make it hard for the child to believe in a loving God of grace. Jesus would have older ones to encourage the spiritual development of our children and the church's children by teaching, by examples of grace, by love, peace, joy and all the evidences of the fruit of the Spirit of God within. There are several practical ways in which we do this.

Conclusion: Jesus views offence to children so seriously that He reserves the direst consequences for those who offend. It is important to have discipline and order in the home or in society, but such teaching and discipline must always be in the context of grace. It is often hard to learn to do things in ways you have not seen. Most parents do things the way their parents did. From generation to generation habits have been passed down, and cultural programming is hard to override. But Jesus informs us, even in our cultural setting, that we are different! We can, through the power offered to us, learn the ways of the kingdom of God .

God has called us to serve Him with a heart of love. He has called us to pass along that love to our children and our children's children. Beginning with those times when our babies were in the cot, we taught them our theology as we picked them up. When we ourselves cried in the cot and we were picked up and kissed, we learned that we were loved. We teach our children that they are sacred when we do the same for them.

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