Here's looking at you, kid.
Erasmus* wrote: 'The best hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth."
I wonder, is that also true of a church? When you look at the next generation of your church, the kiddos, do you see future deacons and elders and those who will faithfully serve and take the baton?
Or do you see problems that need to be dealt with so the big people can have church?
At what point do they move from being liabilities at church to being viewed as assets?
We're at a point at Providence Church where we've been at it just over a year and some circumstances contribute to this being a good time to re-evaluate our children's programs.
What are we doing? How well are we doing it? Why are we doing it?
In most churches, there seems to be little emphasis on kids in church. But, why?
Perhaps it's because adults are the givers. Adults have cars and decide where the family will worship. Adults make the decisions regarding church for the family, but priority is often given to things solely dealing with parental happiness and preference.
Yet, children are the most captive audience. They are the most receptive & open audience. As many statistics will affirm, the vast majority of people who claim to be Christians say they became Christians by age 18.
The hardness of their hearts has not hit its zenith yet and they are still willing to listen to silly people like us who tell them things about God.
Thinking the discipleship of children should be a priority in the allocation of resources and time and evangelistic strategies, I wonder what those in the blogosphere look upon favorably regarding the children's programs at their respective churches.
As I don't get to visit other churches, much less get to experience their programs, I ask your help for those non-Providence Church people.
What have you experienced in other churches with regard to children's ministry that you deem effective, or praiseworthy, or otherwise worthy of emulation?
I happen to think we have a responsibility to train up the next generation, not just to be good Americans who stay out of jail, love their spouses, and don't beat their kids. We have a responsibility to turn over the reigns of the church to those we've prepared to far surpass anything we've done in the advancement of the kingdom.
* Erasmus - This Renaissance Humanist was responsible for the first published Greek New Testament (1516), a critical edition called the Textus Receptus (the "received text"). He was also the author of The Praise of Folly, wherein he satirically depicts areas of concern and/or needing reform in the 16th century church. Though he and Luther were greatly at odds over the nature of the will and the manner of reform of the church, Erasmus contributed greatly to the cause of reformation, particularly with these two efforts.