“Let the children come to me”

God has put a huge burden on my (Katie) heart for children and families. I’ve always loved working with children and now that I’m a mother, I have a whole new respect for Jesus’ words in Mark 10, “Let the children come to me.” One of the questions I’ve been asking churches as I visit and do training with their children’s ministry leaders is, “What are some of the things that hinder children from coming to Jesus.” The answers are varied, but many times the people have responded that the church itself gets in the way of children coming to know Christ. Too many times church is understood to be for grown-ups and everything is geared for adults. Too many times children are just seen as a long for the ride.

It has been so exciting to see churches here taking seriously the words of Jesus, regarding children. Pray for me as in the upcoming weeks I will be teaching 3 times on the subject of children and the church’s responsibility to them. This Sunday was a true celebration of the gift of children in our lives. In Colombia we were celebrating the day of the child and so one of the local Covenant churches organized a celebration party for children. They decorated the room with balloons and posters, there was children’s music playing, the grown-ups were dressed up like children, etc. The afternoon consisted of fun games, crafts, face painting, dancing, and a piƱata. I’m so glad the team from Arizona was here to participate. Their help was priceless.

After the party, the children had the responsibility of leading the worship service. It was awesome. The children walked in with banners they had made during the party and led the congregation in singing. The children gave the welcome, prayed for the congregation, received the offering, worshiped through dance, etc. It was fun to see the silly side of some of the adults coming out, you could tell they were enjoying the chance to be kids again. During the reflection and message the children sat at tables in the Sanctuary and colored, listening to the message, as did the adults who were sitting in chairs, coloring along with the children. At the end the adults stood and stretched out their arms to pray over the children and to extend a blessing to them. The children then led the adults in the closing song/benediction. If it were up to me, this is how church would be every week – adults, children, youth all engaged in word, song, action – worshiping God together. I woke up the next day with no voice what so ever, but it was worth it!

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