Today's sermon in church was focused on the importance of children in the body of Christ. How as a church we need to ensure that children and families have a safe place to worship. How this is the heart of God.
There is a well-known story in the Bible where parents were bringing their children to Jesus, and the disciples rebuked them. They thought Jesus was too busy. They didn't welcome the children. But Jesus corrected the disciples and then welcomed the families to bring their kids straight to Him. He brought them in. He made space for them.
Welcoming children in is directly related to welcoming God.
We can enable our children to come.
We can observe children in the freedom and openness of their worship. They are often open to revelation in a way that others are not.
God wants to reveal things to us, not only through our minds, but also through revealing His fullness in simple truths.
So what can we learn from children?
Some ideas today were that children learn how to have fun in God's Presence. That they trust each other. That they are unhindered in coming before God. That they are kind to each other.
We can learn from our children, and then we can be full of joy in the Holy Spirit.
We also need to lead our children by example. Unless we change and become like children, we will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. We need to model letting the Living Water flow. You can't just speak it, you have to get down on that level and live it with them. God's not just out there, He's right here.
We have to offer our children gentle correction. Parents and adults should not exasperate their children, but train them in the way of the Lord. Do it with them.
Older children can help the younger ones. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example…
There are challenges to this model of church.
It should be freedom, but not a free-for-all.
Safety takes some thought and planning. To make a safe worship environment. We have to support the children in our worship to engage in the worship.
There are some practical guidelines to encourage us to let the children come. Welcome them at the front of the church, in the space that is safe. The older children can help the younger children to worship. Dancing with them. Teaching them. Let's keep them safe. Parents sit up close. Parents should be good examples. Being free in worship, and appropriate. Foster an awareness of God's Presence.
And finishing with the thought of being in God's Presence, the pastor's wife gave a testimony of her own recent journey. That she had been in the wilderness. But that she was now coming out of the wilderness and encouraging the church that as a whole, we would be coming out. She spoke about Jacob, who thought his son, the dreamer, and with it his dreams, had died. But God restored his son, those dreams and provided him with food in the famine. Abundant blessings.
So, from church to children to coming up out of the wilderness… It was a good Sunday morning focus point 🙂