Let Them ComeBy Pastor Brian
Our culture alternates between two extremes: On one hand, kids are an after-thought. On the other, they are the bearers of all our unmet expectations. In either case, we tend to create a whole separate world for our children: either a world where they are amused to death – seen, but not heard – or a world where they are constantly being asked to perform. But for Jesus, children are a unique part of the community. They have things to teach us about faith and innocence. They are to be honored as God’s creations. They are welcome. “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:14-15 ESV)”
In the ancient world, children were an investment in the future and a form of social security. But Jesus views them as intrinsically valuable. Childhood is not something to be completed as quickly as possible, but a process of learning and maturation. I believe that by constantly asking children questions about their future occupations, future spouses, or future schooling we run the risk of devaluing the childhood experience. We expect our children to grow up to quickly, but do not expect them to mature. At Epic church we’re working on flipping that upside down. The Navigators class (grades 1-5) takes an offering every month to support missionaries. The 2nd Story class is learning how they can get involved on Sunday mornings. In the Wednesday night Kid Devotionals, the kids take responsibility for setting up the chairs, passing out the snacks, and starting up the Bible lesson. In the coming weeks we’ll be building a stage in the Event Center. One of the purposes of this stage is to enable our younger folk to participate more easily in the services, by being better able to see what goes on up front, and to be better seen as we bring their unique gifts to the church.
Be listening for more ways to “let the little children come” to Jesus as we follow Him together as a family at Epic Church.