Church Refugee Sanity Guide -Children's Ministry in Organic Churches

The Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Ten: 'What About Our Children?'

This installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide deconstructs religious values regarding our children in “church.” It provides hopeful alternatives to meet the socialization and spiritual needs of our children and youth outside of traditional church constructs. Not attending a traditional church, Sunday school, or youth ministry program is not a liability. It is an opportunity.

Children/youth ministry is one of the top three most contentious topics in any local church. The other two are money and praise and worship. I have already covered praise and worship in a previous session of the Church Refugee sanity Guide. Money and finances will be the next and final session of this series.

Unfortunately, the socialization needs of our children is often a primary motivator for many people when they consider the question of: “Where should we go to church?” In the hierarchy of kingdom values we should consider when making important life decisions, whether or not our children maintain their social friendship networks does not belong at the top of the list. Considered, yes. Determinative, no. When non-biblical things that we may enjoy in our Christian liberty (Sunday School, youth ministry, etc.) become definitive of what it means to “do church,” or determinative of how we make kingdom decisions, we are in trouble.

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Copyright 2016,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. Would you like to partner with us in distributing our materials and perhaps generate some income for yourself?  Please go to www.stevecrosby.com for details of our Affiliate program. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution through our Paypal button to help? Thank you and God bless you.

3 comments on “The Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Ten: 'What About Our Children?'

  1. I was wondering if you have a contact number. I’m in Jerusalem. I would like to speak to someone. I enjoy the teaching and the spirit.

  2. Everything you said about IC dodging of parents participating with their children is true, and much more. But I think you left out a key part. You talked about Be purposeful, Be intentional, Be creative. But you left out Be Biblical. The fact there there are not specific instructions for church life specified for children should tell us something. The same instructions for adults are the same instructions for children. Children can do every Biblical instruction, and possibility even better than an adult. From my experience with children participation intergenerationally with adults, the children are often the example setters. They do the work expected of elders – “being examples to the flock”. I saw a very shy teenager be the example of heart transparency and confession of sin. I saw a 6 year old set the example of asking tough questions on determinative issues. I heard the children read the scripture with greater zest, power, and Spirit driven expression than any adult. I saw 12 year olds close in on the 5 year olds during prayer time and help them to pray in the group.

    Every instruction from God is inter generational and intercultural. It works powerfully in every tribe on earth and every generation of mankind. Children have a spiritual gift, an anointing, a direct connection to “the holy places”, just like every adult believer. This is how you teach children to participate with adults. It begins at home with family worship and teaching, as you said. But EVERYTHING they learn at home is designed to be reproduced when saints “meet together”. Hebrews 10:19-25 is the “new and living way”. 3 “Let us…” instructions to be prepared to “stir up one another to love and good works” when we “meet together”.

    • I concur 100%. I have been in meetings where children as young as 5 years old are fully engaged–without heavy-handed authoritarianism. I have given my life for intergenerational ministry. Two stories: when I pastored a traditional church and insisted in intergenerational ministry, half the congregation left–literally, in one week, after I drew the line, insisting my job was nto to provide professional baby sitting for them, but rather to teach them to train their children . . . 200 people disappeared. When we started to dedicate one service a month for our children where we did things at their level and they were involved, leading, singing, sharing . . . half of the congregation (who were left at the time) would not show up on the Sundays where we did it because “it wasn’t a real service.” I have given my life’s blood for what you describe, and it has cost me. I don’t regret it, but it does indicate how apostate the average church is, including the one I pastored. People were adamantly resistant to what we are talking about. I successfully reduced that church down from 400 people to 25. Someone I respected visited once, and said “Steve, the atmosphere in your assembly is the purest, cleanest, I have ever experienced in my life. Twenty five people who get it are better than 400 who don’t.

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