Engaging Our Children in Faith
They sit in church and hear the pastor speak. At the dinner table they listen to their parents discuss. They hear about calling and mission and work to be done. They sit nearby as we talk about obedience and directives and commandments and law. Surrounded by adults, our children learn about Kingdom-work and all the things that people are doing around the globe to help others learn about Christ.
Yet, they do not know (how could they?) that they have a part to play.
As parents, we know that we must teach our children Biblical stories and that we must instill in them a strong moral framework. We live our faith out before them and talk to them about important decisions we make in an effort to know and follow Christ. But do we help them to do the same? Do we help them to see that Kingdom work is not just grown-up work and the mission field can be as close as our own backyards? Do they know that the omnipotent God we want them to know is in the business of using the weak and small? The frail and faulty?
Because this is truth that matters.
What would have become of the Israelites without a slow-to-speak leader? The Bible is full of examples of flawed people being used despite their weaknesses. Think about David, Paul, Zacchaeus, Thomas… the list is long and varied. And while we often portray these Biblical heroes as strong and faithful, their stories tell a more complicated tale. They were also fearful, doubting, sinful, arrogant, greedy, deceitful and fully used by God. Their stories are our stories and their struggles are our struggles. And if we release our need to present ourselves in a perfect, faithful light, we may be able to see how the areas of struggle in our ordinary lives might be the very things that God desires to use to build His Kingdom here on earth.
And showing this to our children? It is a life-changing offering that can help them to draw nearer to God as they grow. Because knowing He is powerful and big and in charge is important. But knowing that God can use even “the least of these” is truth that builds relationship and connection. Drawing near to the One who sees and uses our smallness can help us to do the same.
We need to empower our children to see and know that they have a part to play, that perfection isn’t needed for important Kingdom work, and that God will use us as we are. When we model this in our own lives, they will begin to see that our all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God is willing and able to embrace His children and give them opportunities to do His work today.
As He makes all things new.
This book speaks to the way that faith is translated to the next generation. This book offers encouragement for adults to step into a mentoring role to equip the youth of the church for service in God’s kingdom. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of making your faith visible and getting involved in the lives of others. Every church youth director should read this book.
This book by David Lambert is an excellent resource for helping you think thoughtfully about how you celebrate Christmas. In the midst of a consumer focused society we need to approach our celebrations thoughtfully to keep our celebrations focused on Christ. This book offers creative suggestions for making your holiday celebrations meaningful.