It's About Love (Part 1)
What we teach our children is what they will live out in their lives whether they’re aware of it or not.
As parents, children’s pastors, or children’s leaders, we give children a framework and a norm to process life through. As a children's pastor I have often been struck by the weight of that responsibility.
As a church culture, I believe we are moving away from being performance-focused and are instead moving towards a culture that values relationships above all. Although it’s a broad statement, I believe this value for relationships is what The Lord is releasing to His body. How does this relate to training up the next generation?
Heaven will invade Earth, the Glory of God will cover the earth like the waters cover the seas, and we will see a generation walking in the fullness of our inheritance through Jesus. These things will happen because they were declared before we were ever born. With that in mind how to we train this group of children? What is the most important thing?
While ministering in Thailand, we were sharing a lesson with the children when we realized they weren’t able to comprehend what we were sharing. The lesson we were teaching was one of the easiest lessons so I was confused to the resistance to understanding the concept. We returned to our hotel room deflated and decided to pray for a breakthrough. As we prayed I heard The Lord say, "You didn't teach them what love looks like."
I quickly whipped out 1 Corinthians 13:4,
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…”
The next lesson we did was about love and what love looks like. After this service, the rest of the trip was awesome. The kids were able to understand the concepts we taught and caught a hold of what we released. Later we heard that one of the children released healing over his unsaved father.
This experience led me on a journey that forever changed my life and the way I taught children.
We can teach children to move in the gifts but if we don't teach them how to love God and others we have missed the point. Love is not an afterthought, it is the thought. God is rewiring us as a church body not to value performance or signs and wonders above the biggest sign and wonder – that is the power of love. We are all saved because Jesus decided to love instead of become King of Israel in His time. He knew that the eternal value of love was going to save the whole human race for generations. He could have become the King of Israel and freed His people from the grip of Rome but instead He died.
Instead of performance, He stayed in relationship with His Father and did in love what we, through works, could have never accomplished.