This week, we’ve been hosting our annual Bible Fun Camp at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton. I think when a church puts on a vacation Bible school, it receives a sacred trust from parents, grandparents and guardians.
But, as I said to the parents gathered last night, the church is not the purveyor of a consumer religious service. Parents don’t bring their kids to Bible Fun Camp so that we can dispense religion to their kids. No: sharing faith is the parents’ job, primarily, and the church’s job is to act as a partner with the parents, grandparents and guardians in helping their children experience a personal relationship with Jesus.
Neither party can do it alone. If we leave the spiritual formation of children to the church alone, it will not work, as the past 50 years have proven. And if we leave the spiritual formation of children to the parents alone, they will grow weary and discouraged; they need the church to support them and partner with them.
If you have children in your care, I ask you to let the church partner with you in helping your kids to know and love Jesus. If you’re in the leadership of a church, find ways to help the congregation partner creatively with parents so that they don’t feel cast adrift in a sea of various spiritualities.
Being a parent is the hardest job known to the human race. Being a Christian parent is harder still! If you’re seeking to raise children to know and love Jesus, I’m in your corner. Let us all pray for parents as they steward the church’s future!
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6.6-7, NIV).
P.S.: Today is International Hug A Calvinist Day, otherwise known as John Calvin’s birthday. If you see someone with a Reformed bent today, give that person a hug!