Beyond Children’s Ministry …

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I’m seriously wrestling with what does “a family ministry model” mean in our context – especially BLC. We are coming to 5 years old in April. Here are some seed thoughts that’s bugging me (Thanks to Faith Inkubators) .

“Christian parents are charged with the honor and responsibility to raise their children to know Jesus. The church should help them, but not do the job for them.”

“… parents are the primary faith teachers, mentors and role models for their own children with church as reinforcement – not replacement – of the parent’s duties.”

“A living, loving Christian role model in the home is by far the best delivery system for passing on the Christian faith. “

Thanks to Ivy Beckwith who had the link on her site. I found her message on children’s Sunday entitled Forming the Soul of the Child very challenging!

What she says here from her blog is spot on …

“I find the over emphasis on the entertainment environment with “gross” games (for some reason this is a way to worship God – thought I’m not sure I get how – so do the kids really see this as worship?) and the seeming lack of one on one interaction with adults and other kids as not something that can truly contribute to the spiritual formation and soul care of these children.

Sure the kids have fun – what child wouldn’t want to come to something like this (shy ones, children with asperger’s syndrome, children who have difficulty with environments that over stimulate,childreh with ADHD to name a few). But, what is the hidden curriculum? What are the long term implications for the soul’s of our children if this is the community of faith they are exposed to each week?”

I’ve extremely disatisfied by what I see in many children ministry approaches. And I agree with a friend I was talking over the phone that it’s not just changing the packaging or the curriculum. We need to deal with the deeper bigger picture and paradigm issues. Now that’s going to be hard work and painful. But necessary. The following quote keeps me alert and ready to pay the price:

“The passing on of the faith to the next generation is much too important a task to be left in the hands of those who are paid to do it.” April Ulrich Larsen

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