I am a children’s pastor. That’s my job. Some may presume that my job as a pastor is to share the message of Jesus Christ with kids. It is NOT my primary aim.
My highest aim as a children’s pastor is the following:
I want to make sure parents understand they are Accountable to God, for the spiritual Instruction of their children, in Memorable ways.
A = Accountable
It is my AIM to remind parents that they will be held Accountable to God for how they raised their own children. I won’t be able to stand with my wife and make the excuse, "Yeah but she was the excited one. She was the one who was most interested in spiritually developing our kids. That was kinda her job, Lord....?"
I = Instruction
I want to remind parents they are accountable, specifically, for the spiritual Instruction of their children. Before a child can read for themselves, they are dependent on parents to pass on to them spiritual truth. If our kids can learn the names of every character on Sesame Street and Barney, they can certainly know the stories of Jesus. Yet, it depends in great part upon our intentional Instruction as parents. Psalm 78 shares:
We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Psalm 78:4-6
Finally, I want to encourage parents that they are going to be Accountable to God for the spiritual Instruction of their kids, yet in positively Memorable ways.
Let’s suppose there is a dad who understands the responsibility for spiritually instructing his own children. Yet it is carried out in painfully Memorable ways. He makes his kids come in on a sunny day outside. They sit around the kitchen table and LISTEN to their dad read long and involved passages from his adult bible and then he gets mad at them when they squirm and are inattentive during his 30 minute lecture. I give this dad props for owning the responsibility for instruction. Unfortunately, he is not seeking to reach them in a way that comports with who they are as kids.