BY KELLIE TIPTON
“Bye! Have a great week and I will see you next Sunday” is something I have said to many children over the years. What a privilege it is to share little moments of life with them each week and with many I have the opportunity to share even more moments throughout the week as they come to other services or participate in other ministries.
I say share little moments of life because I only get moments and I never take that lightly cause time flies and the children grow up so fast!
Barna research has shown that by the age of thirteen, your spiritual identity is largely set in place. There is an open window of time in a child’s life that we have the most impact on how a child views themselves and their purpose in life.
Our culture knows it well as you observe television shows, movies, books and games. It is so easy for families many times to put church going on the back burner. Schedules are busy and as children grow up they find other opportunities more interesting.
So we will miss an opportune moment to show our children the importance of meeting with other believers as we worship together and share life together.
It is just so easy to excuse it or say it is just a season, but I have seen it time and time again as well as lived it. Once you get out of that habit it causes more opportunity to fill it with other things and your children suffer for it and I am not just meaning spiritually, but also relationally.
It takes time to develop relationships and if given the opportunity our children can develop relationships within the church that helps in connecting them with other believers.
In Hebrews 10:19-39 (NIV) we are given a “Call to Persevere” or in the Message version it is entitled “Don’t Throw It Away” and is where you find the scripture that is quoted many times…24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
As parents we have to be intentional in guiding our children to value so many things and that includes meeting together with other believers.
The church (body of Christ) is meant to encourage and equip and it is vital to remember that while it may not in all honesty feel that way sometimes, we are family! Family is not always the easiest to get along with but we do not just drop them when things get tough, or at least we shouldn’t.
As a church we need to be sure to come alongside parents and equip them to provide their children at the earliest age possible with biblical principles that will protect them from a barrage of worldly ideas and teaching that is opposed to the biblical worldview.
Cultivating a biblical worldview means learning to think and act like Jesus and we can do it best together!
As a children’s pastor I have the privilege to see many children grow up and in many cases they continue to be a part of children's ministry as they serve in the classes.
It is never easy to see them go whether it is a choice or a new season as they leave for college or move away. Change is hard even in the best of circumstances and every time reminds me of how much they are a part of me, like family.
As I pray and prepare for more moments, I pray for our families and look forward to our next Family Meeting!