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Have I Told You Lately How Fabulous Kids Are?
by Patty Evans, children's minister on December 30th, 2011

Have I told you lately how fabulous kids are? They are so inquisitive and honest. The reason I know this is because it has been my privilege to have worked with kids for over 12 years at our church as their Children’s Minister. Over the last couple of years, I started leading a small group of them who were new in their faith or just on the verge of making the decision to follow Jesus. We called this class our New Believers class. Over 30 of our kids have gone through this class and each time they amaze me with their questions and comments. Keep in mind that the average age of the students is 9 years old.

One of the reasons we started this class is because of a true story. I received an email from a mom whose 9 year old son had just had communion for the first time. His mom asked him what he thought of the experience and he said "Well, the bones were kinda crunchy." This made me laugh so hard because it was so innocent and literal…. just the way kids are. But there was an underlying message in this exchange. Sometimes we adults take for granted that our teachings about Christ are clear. There is so much symbolism in our faith, not to mention practices that date back thousands of years that aren’t understood in today’s secular culture. It is our job to make these important Biblical truths understandable.

That’s why I love the time I spend with kids talking about deep spiritual topics. One of the most frequently discussed items is that of grace. It is hard for kids (and even adults) to fully understand that “even big sinners” will be in Heaven. As mature believers, we understand that all human occupants of Heaven are “big sinners” but for a child whose main sins are disobeying parents, being mean to their siblings and maybe an occasional petty theft, the idea of murderers in heaven is mind boggling.

That’s when I talk to them about the two thiefs on the crosses with Jesus. You see, they tend to know a lot about Jesus’ crucifixion but aren’t aware of the thieves who were being punished that day. I remind them about the parable of the Good Samaritan where it gives a picture of what robbers of that time would do to their target. Often they would beat them and leave them for dead. It is highly likely that the thieves on the crosses next to Jesus were murderers too. The thief who mocked Jesus is a picture of so many of our friends and loved ones who don’t believe Jesus’ claim to be the son of God and want to see great signs to prove His deity. And those of us who are believers in Jesus are portrayed in the life of the one thief who believed… the one who was justifiably being punished for the many deplorable sins committed in his lifetime and yet called out to Jesus and simply acknowledged His deity.

"But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don’t you fear God', he said, 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise'.”
Luke 23: 40-43

Each time I’m with these kids, it is an opportunity to renew my mind with the amazing truths about God’s love for us and the grace He extends to all those who receive. I leave my class with renewed enthusiasm in my relationship with God and gratefulness for his favor upon me.
If you have children in your life, may I encourage you to start spiritual conversations with them? I guarantee that you will have funny stories to tell and will be stumped by a question they pose. But if you dig into the scriptures with them for the truth, you both will be greatly blessed.

Go and Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
Matt 28: 19-20

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Keith Tooley - January 3rd, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Thank you for your reminder about how important it is for us to have spiritual conversations with our children. Mine are 21 and 25 now, but I still need to make it a point to discuss their spiritual growth and their walk with God. I need for them to know that I care about that and that I am there for prayer and support.

I also appreciate your passion for sharing the good news about Jesus Christ with people of all ages. You inspire me when you share your stories.
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