First, when I invite the children to come up for the children’s sermon, I cannot tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to see those small children walking and some running up to see me with huge smiles on their faces. Now granted that as they get older, the smiles aren’t as big as they once were since they start feeling too “big” for children’s sermon. Nonetheless, they come up and they seem genuinely pleased to be there listening to the simple truths from God’s Word just for them.
Second, it is a great blessing to me to pray with these children. You may have noticed that recently I have not only prayed with the children but have also started praying for them, offering a prayer for God to bless them as they sit up front with me. It is their benediction as they receive God’s blessing and peace before they return to their seats. It is important that we pray with and for our children.
Finally, it is a joy to see them grow up and eventually “graduate” from the children’s sermon to sitting in the chairs with their families instead of running up front. While I miss them being up front, it warms my heart to know that during those few years of sitting up front, they were fed and nourished by God’s Word and hopefully better equipped to live for God. All of these things are a source of great joy and hope for me and I wish you could experience that as well.
One of the facts of life in the church all over North America is that many children who grow up in the church leave and do not return to any church at all. It is a problem that cuts across all theological and denominational lines and it is very troubling. It is the task of the church to not only teach small children but to help them reach maturity in their faith and active in Jesus’ church. It is a challenging problem and a daunting task, but I believe we at Faith Church are in a position to address this.
We currently have approximately 20 children in the Faith Church family from toddlers on up. I would love for each child in Faith Church to have someone whom they come running up to each Sunday with their huge smiles, eager to tell you about what is going on in their lives. I want to share the joy of nurturing the children with you. And remember that this is not only a source of blessing to each of us; it is also our covenant responsibility to pray for and encourage God’s children in our congregation on a regular basis.
I want our children of Faith Church to know and to experience the love of God shown not just by their pastor or teachers, but by other adults. It will make a difference and, based on conversations with those who are now adults and who were children here before, it makes a life-long impact. I urge you to be praying about this in the coming weeks and looking for ways that you can do encourage our children as well.