My A.I.M. as a Children’s Pastor
I am a children’s pastor. That’s my job. I want to be successful at my job. Some may presume that my job as a pastor is to share the message of Jesus Christ with kids. I mean, I am a children’s pastor, correct? At some level, this is a portion of my job.
Yet, I have to be honest, that is not my highest 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.
It is my AIM to remind parents that they will be held accountable to God for how they raised their own children. Listen, 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.”
Individually, we all will give an account for how we invested in our own children’s lives. This is a sobering fact.
It is my AIM to remind parents they are going to be accountable, specifically, for the spiritual instruction of their children. Before a child can read for themselves, they are basically dependent on us as parents to pass on to them the foundational inputs upon which the rest of their life will be built. Sure we can and should take our kids to Sunday school as a part of their learning. Church attendance is essential but not sufficient.
Listen, if our kids can learn the names of every character on Sesame Street and Barney, they can certainly learn and know the stories of Jesus. Yet, that depends in great part upon our intentional instruction of our own children.
Finally, I want to encourage parents that they are going to be accountable to God for the spiritual Instruction of their kids, yet in memorable ways.
Let me paint a sad picture for you. Let’s suppose there is a dad who understands the weight of responsibility for spiritually instructing his own children. He feels a sense of accountability to instruct his kids in the ways of the Lord. Yet it is carried out in painfully memorable ways. He makes his kids come inside on a sunny day. 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.
We are accountable. We need to instruct our kids about the Lord. Yet let’s do it in a warm and beautifully memorable way. Let’s do it in a way that is in keeping with who they are right now. Memorable can be fun. Memorable is reading a picture Bible on their level. Memorable is being WITH your kids in this process.
What is my AIM? I want to remind us all that we are Accountable to God for the spiritual Instruction of our kids in Memorable ways.
Let’s do this today.
- Recall: What will you be held accountable for in raising your children spiritually?
- Reflect: Do you teach your children in memorable ways that connects with them?
- Respond: What are 2-3 memorable ways you can instruct your children spiritually, thinking of what best serves them now?
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to raise your children spiritually?