To God, children are:
- A sign ‐ they are God’s blessing (Psalm 127:3) and are missed when not part of the covenant community.
- In need of teaching ‐ they are to be treasured and taught at home and in community (Deuteronomy 6, 11).
- A symbol ‐ they illustrate the relationship God wants with adults (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 18:2‐3).
- Worthy of protection ‐ God is on the side of the vulnerable (Psalm 68:5; James 1:27). When children are neglected, abused, victimised, God grieves. Jesus strongly advocates for their protection (Matthew 18:5‐6, 10).
- Worshipers ‐ they are designed to praise God (Psalm 8:2). Praise is not just something they will learn when older — it is their role now. Children praise Jesus even when adults reject him (Matthew 21:15).
- Fellow‐agents of God’s mission ‐ Jesus said to let the little children come unto him for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as them (Matthew 19:14). Therefore, we must include children as subjects and agents of the great commission and the equipping of the saints for the work of service (Ephesians 4:12).
- Examples – they are examples of the simple dependence that God’s Kingdom requires of adults (Matthew 18:4).
- Uncompromisingly loved ‐ Jesus has a blessing for children brought to Him: no demands, no challenges, not even a story! (Matthew 19:13‐15)
- A focus in God’s ministry ‐
- Jesus heals children (Luke 7, 8);
- welcomes them (Mark 10);
- uses children as examples of humility (Luke 18:17);
- warns of judgement for those who harm them (Matthew 18:5‐6, 10)
- and values them (Matthew 18:12‐14).
MISSIONAL NOTE: Children are open to the Good News. Many Christian leaders today can point to an awakening to faith in their childhood. Studies by the George Barna Research Group show that children between the ages of 5 and 12 are 5 times more likely to come to Christ than at any other time in their lives.
It seems that by age 13, one’s spiritual identity is largely set in place.
This is the basic premise of an idea called the “4/14 Window”. Any serious mission strategy will include careful and appropriate efforts to reach children and young people.
Ministry for GCC Children: Bible Study Groups - Sunday morning at 9am.
Find out about GCC Ministry to Children in our community by clicking here! It includes Faith, Hope, & Love, Human Coalition, and Love Life Charlotte.
Children Are Born Persons article by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
4 Things To Teach Kids About Trusting God Through Uncertainty article by Carl Laferton