It’s the question we get in The City Church more than nearly any other. It’s a conundrum asked in both frustration and good humor. It’s one of the biggest enigmas in the missional community world. You’ve heard it; you’ve made up answers on the spot; you may have even developed a strong system for it.
But the question remains:
“What do we do with the kids?”
A survey of the Bible’s teaching on how children were raised and trained in the community of God’s people reveals four overarching principles:
- Parents are the primary disciplers of their children
- Children are found in gatherings of God’s people throughout the Bible
- Jesus valued children, even – or especially! – if they were distracting/unwanted
- There are things about God that only children can teach us
Each of these four principles helps answer the “big kid question”; I’m explaining each over the course of four brief articles; this is the first.
Parents are the primary disciplers of their children… So our communities must equip and come alongside parents in raising their kids.
Focusing on the right things
The focus of a “kids ministry” shouldn’t actually be kids; it should be parents. Whether preschool or high school, the same principle applies: churches and leaders who put time, effort, money, resources, and intentionality into equipping parents instead of merely entertaining children accomplish two significant things: