Why we need to stop saying, “It’s for the kids”

It’s not about the kids. 

I posted this exact same thing last year. On almost the exact same date.

So why am I re-posting it again?

Because last night I was able to participate in a time of Family Faith Formation at my church with my kids (I wasn’t teaching, so I got to do all the activities with them) and at one point my little boy said to me, “Mommy, God is mighty! He’s bigger than anything!  He’s bigger than Daddy!  He’s bigger than when we are sad!”

And I needed to hear that.

The activity we were doing may have been geared to kids (we were looking up attributes of God in Scripture) but I needed it, probably more than him in that moment. I needed to hear his little voice proclaiming to me the greatness of our God. And I needed to hear it from a child with that childlike faith in every word.

So many times at church and in ministry circles, we talk about how important it is for children that faith is talked about in the home and that families have time to worship together. And it is (very important).

But have you ever considered how important it is for us adults?

Consider these 5 reasons why WE need to engage our faith with our kids

  1. We NEED to experience the narratives of Scripture again for the very first time.

Sure we’ve heard the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den, David and Goliath, and Joshua and Jericho a  hundred times. But you know who hasn’t? Our kids! And we have the privilege of sharing it with them maybe for the first time. Which means, we can show them in each story, how God is working and showing His love, and maybe that’s exactly what you need to hear too.

For a great resource to do this, consider The Jesus Storybook Bible,which has ministered to me at least as much as it has to the kids I’ve read it to.

  1. We NEED to hear how your child hears God speak to them.

I absolutely love asking kids questions about God and hearing their beautiful answers.

So many stories come to mind, but one of the most precious to me was when my own daughter at the ripe old age of 7 asked me if God ever spoke to me. After awkwardly trying to explain the difference between God’s audible voice and His impressions in my heart and how God speaks through the Bible, I finally just shut my mouth and said, “Why, has God spoken to you?” She nodded “Yes” almost nonchalantly so I was forced to ask, “Really, what did He say?” She replied, “Well, when I was painting the other day, He said, ‘I made you to do this.’ I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to use my art for God.

What a precious moment to me to know God was speaking to my little girl’s heart.  It is so refreshing to hear the pure life that comes out of children when they talk about God.  And in a world that often saps our souls, spiritual refreshment is much needed.

  1. We NEED to remember just how very much God LOVES you

If you are like me, when you talk to your kids about Jesus, you invariably let them know just how much God loves them, how He made them special and given them personalities and giftings that are unique to them, that He has a purpose for their life and a reason for their being, and that He would go to any length to let them know just how much He cares for their soul.

Hey, guess what? That’s true for us too and sometimes we big kids need to remember that is how WE are loved, forever and always.

  1. We NEED to remind ourselves that faith isn’t a Sunday thing

In this world of “Go, Go, Go!” it is far to easy to compartmentalize our faith as just one more thing we “do” on Sunday mornings and maybe Wednesday nights.

Church becomes a place not the body of Christ.

Fellowship becomes Sunday hugs during the greeting time at service not the community of faith.

The Bible becomes the appropriate accessory when you walk through the building doors and a decoration to adorn your bookshelf the rest of the week.

Talking with our kids every day about our faith is a poignant reminder that what we are as Christians reaches far beyond the four walls of church and into every crevice of our lives. It is alive, active, and living as long as we are. Sharing that with our kids will give all of us meaning and purpose.

  1. We NEED to reflect on God with the faith of a child

Calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said that. His words, his heart. I truly believe the innocent faith of a child has insights into God’s heart that just can’t see.  Even my little story above is an example of that little voice of big faith. So, yes, while it is true that it is important for kids to experience faith at home, it is also vitally important for you.

When we make discipleship at home or intergenerational worship just about the kids, we lose a significant part of what this whole thing is about, what Church is about.

The Bible says we are all members of one body and that we each have a part to play. Even though the legs and heart do the most work when we run, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the body doesn’t benefit. Of course it does!  So when faith is engaged by all ages together, it’s not just the kids that benefit, we big kids do too.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Eph. 4:15. 


 

For more information about

Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook. 

About the author

Family(40)Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family,  Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.

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