MARK 10:13-16: “Now people were bringing little children to Yeshua so He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Yeshua saw this, He got angry. He told them, “Let the little children come to Me! Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it!” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.” (TLV)
OBSERVATION: I used to think Children’s Ministry was not my calling. In fact, I would boldly say – “I am called to teach adults, not children!” If I was there with the 12, and Jesus was teaching, I would have told the children to go play somewhere else. After all, they would interrupt the Master, and everyone knows that adults cannot concentrate when a child is fussing or crying.
I think this attitude has made its way into many churches. I remember one person who told me how much they loved their new church because they could drop their children off at the door and not have to pick them up until after the service. At one time I would have agreed with them. However, now just the thought of it grieves my heart and spirit.
There is nothing more precious in this life than a child. Each child represents the love of God and the hope of life. A child is open, trusting, honest, and full of hope and faith. When we separate them from our midst we are hiding God’s precious gift. This is how Jesus felt about children. When the disciples rebuked the children, Jesus rebuked the disciples and drew the children in his arms and blessed them. For when Jesus held a small child, Jesus held the heart of the Father’s love.
Since my impudent days, God has cleansed and changed my heart toward children. In fact, He has opened the doors for me to write children’s training books that are now being used in missions work all over the world. I don’t think this would ever have happened if I had not heeded His gentle rebuke, and heard the cry of His heart. Now, our entire church understands that our greatest call, our greatest ministry, is to reach children with the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Not everyone will have the physical ability in their older years to work with children. You don’t have to be a children’s worker to love children. There are so many children today who come from broken homes. They are being raised by a single parent and lack the love and support of a mother or a father. The Body of Christ must become their extended mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. You will never know how important it is for a small child to receive love, appreciation, and respect from an adult.
There is a young boy in our church who shows up every Sunday morning and helps our ushers prepare for the morning. He always puts out the water bottles in a unique design each week, and he stands by the door with the children’s bulletins in his hand waiting to give them to the small children as they enter. When I greet him, give him a hug, tell him how great of a job he did in his weekly water display, his face lights up. It does not take much to touch the life of a child, it simply takes time and consideration.
Our church is filled now with men and women who love our children each and every week. Our children worship and pray with us in our morning service, and they are only dismissed for Children’s Church during the message portion of the service. They are not a subset of our church family, they are the center of it! Young and old, prayer warriors and adopted grandfathers and grandmothers, together we have heard the call of Jesus and welcome the children to come to Him!
Lord, I pray that you will deepen our devotion and love for the children you have placed in our care. I pray that as they grow up to be youth, young adults, and eventually adults and parents, they will carry on the tradition of loving the children as You taught us to do. And may we all become as a child in our love, devotion, and service unto You.
In Jesus Name!
Definitely should be one of the church’s top priorities!! Excellent post, Kirk!