Imagine if…..

“At [insert church name here] children are at the heart of everything we do.” – Imagine if that was really true.

“Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Imagine if we really took that seriously.

Imagine if we listened to children as much as we expect them to listen to us.

Imagine if we treated every child with dignity, compassion and respect. Imagine if we acted like we really believe every child is a full member of the body of Christ, made in the image of God.

Imagine if instead of modeling how we want our children to worship, we looked at the worship they are already modeling to us, and joined in.

Imagine if the word we most often used about children’s contribution to the life of the church was something other than “cute”. How about “profound”, or maybe “revelatory”, “imaginative”, “creative”, “deep”, “prayerful”, “inspired”. Imagine if we recognised and valued those things in our children.

Imagine if we prayed for – and truly expected to see – the gifts and fruit of the spirit made manifest in our children, not in the future, but now.

Imagine if we no longer priviledged an adult’s view of God and faith and life above that of a child.

Imagine if we created worship centred on children, and then worked out how to fit the needs of adults around the edge.

Imagine if we looked at every aspect of what it means to be a child, and took Jesus’ words to heart. Imagine if we tried to become like children not just in selective, comfortable ways, but in every way, defying the expectations of the world.

Imagine if we lived wholeheartedly in the kingdom of God, a kingdom where children of every age are loved and valued and treasured for who they are.

Imagine if we stopped trying to be grown-up, in control, and lived in total child-like dependence on God.

Imagine if…..

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2 thoughts on “Imagine if…..

  1. Ruth, thank you so much for this. I am sick to bits of saying these things and being looked at as if I’m an idiot. We cannot truly be church (or a community of any kind) without children at our heart….and you so rightly point out that their contribution is not ‘in waiting’, it is right now. We need children more than they need us. Perhaps you remember that seminar by John Bell at Greenbelt entitled, ‘What Should We Tell The Children?’. The question people do ask is ‘How can I be live in a childlike way with all the responsibilities that adulthood brings?’. Thank you again….you are such a gift.

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