Friday, January 8, 2010

Children are people, too

I told a new friend of mine the other day that one of the mantras I work with in pastoral ministry is "Children are people, too". He chuckled a bit, largely because to him that truth is self-evident. But for too many, we too easily forget...

Over the years I have regularly made my point to groups of people by this simple scenario: The Bible says to love your neighbors, so please picture your neighbors in your mind's eye. Got the picture in your head? Good. Any children in that mental picture? If you hadn't already read the beginning of this post (and you're being honest) you'd have to admit that most likely kids didn't enter your thoughts.

This is a shame.

When we're thinking about discipleship, do we stop to think about children? Too often, no. We think about entertaining kids, playing with kids, keeping kids safe, loving kids, etc... but we rarely (in my experience) think about discipling kids.

If the Gospel is powerful enough to make these earthly children into children of God, surely that same Gospel is powerful enough to make of them faithful followers as well.

Discipleship should and, frankly, must include our youngest souls. Failure to include them in the conversation of local church discipleship activities will only perpetuate the problems we already have with children and young people today.

What's particularly encouraging to me is the (culturally) postmodern notion of life in community. We as the local church are called to live in community; culturally postmodern people tend to desire life in community, too. The only trouble I sometimes see: pomo culture is interested in life in (adult) community. Too often there's little room for children even for this sub-culture.

What's to be done?


1 comment:

Mom of 3 said...

You and I had an exchange several years ago on this topic, with regard to unschooling. The basic tenent of unschooling is that children have voices deserving to be heard.
Respect is for everyone, we need to model respectful, Christ-loving behavior; if it doesn't happen in our own homes, what kind of witness can we be?
Great post.