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  • Writer's pictureThe Well Community Church

The Children Aren't the Church of Tomorrow...

Over the last week I have been sharing a video containing my vision for our church's children. The long-and-short of the video emphasizes that our church has placed a high value on making church more accessible and relatable to individuals who may not feel comfortable in the traditional "little country church" or "adult contemporary church" molds. If we are willing to go to great lengths to reach adults for Christ, why would we not try to do the same thing for our children instead of treating them like a side-car to whatever services we create for adults?

As I've shared this vision with others, I've asked for feedback. There have been a couple of questions for clarifications and a little bit of notable silence from some, but I've been blown away by the enthusiasm so many have shown for us taking a more mission-driven approach to our kids. A few people got into protracted discussions about children and how passionate they are for the next generation of Christ-followers. One individual really struck me with this phrase:

I am a firm believer that students are not the church of tomorrow and that they are, in fact, the church of today.

I'm a fan of anyone who questions conventional wisdom, and this just made me a huge fan of this person. AMEN! I'll point you to a piece of scripture we often water-down to reinforce this point...

"... 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17)

We have a tendency to repeat this scripture as if it were aspirational. We say things like "we need to develop faith like a child" when in reality the children already have that kind of faith. They're already living the dream! In a sense... they are already 'the church of today'.

My father occasionally writes devotions for old church friends and wrote about my son's sense of "faith" in others. During a walk, my father noticed that any time he tells Ezra (age 2) to look at something, he doesn't question the instruction. He has normal 2 year old moments of stubbornness, but he never shows any indication that he distrusts my father. And why would he? My father has never done anything to make my son question him.

Some of us have tricked ourselves into thinking God has dome something to warrant that we don't trust him. God, in fact, is the God of all good blessings and graces. All things good comes from God. Like my son, we have no reason to question God's plans because he's never led us astray; we have no reason to question him. Life's challenges and tragedies may try to fool us into thinking God has done something to deserve our skepticism, but this is pure deception. That deception becomes easier to see when we, like my son Ezra, have faith like a child.

Thankfully our children do not seem to have these hang-ups. They have the faith Christ wants in all of us and as a church family, we have an obligation to support them as they grow and mature. There is something we can learn from these little souls because, as I heard someone really smart say before, they are, in fact, the church of today.

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