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CHILDRENS MINISTRY

Mark 10:14-16
Biblical examples of dishonoring children as image bearers include Herods killing of babies during Jesus day
(following the similar evil practice of Pharaohs killing of little babies in Exodus). Children were not held in
high esteem by Romans. By Jesus time, its reported that the Romans had a trash heap beside many homes,
where they often left unwanted children. Children were left in the dung pile or in the trash; and if people
wanted them, they would pick them up. Sometimes these kids were raised to be prostitutes, gladiators or
slaves.

1. We should bring children to God


Mark 10:14 Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God."
The text says they were bringing children to Jesus. They mean both dad and mom. It could imply
extended family and friends as well. They wanted these little ones who could not get to Jesus on their
own to meet Him and to be touched by Him. In contrast, the disciples thought, what a waste of time
and in very strong words rebuked them. As Jesus political handlers and elite entourage they sought
to 5 restrict access to those who would love children to Jesus. Their attitude and actions are a replay of
their exclusivism and elitism toward the exorcist in 9:38.
2. We should imitate childrens attitude towards spiritual things
It is teaching time once again for the 12 apostles. There is something about a child that is essential for
entrance into the kingdom of God. It is not their innocence for they are not innocent! They are little
sinners just like we are big sinners. It is not their purity for they are not pure. It is not that they are
sweet. Again, they are sinners with Adam and Eves and your and my DNA running throughout their
being.
Mark 10:14-16- 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will
never enter it. 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Still, children are a better example of how to enter the kingdom than are adults. I love what Warren
Wiersbe says, We tell children to behave like adults, but Jesus tells the adults to model themselves
after the children! (Be Diligent, 99). Jesus says to enter my Fathers world be childlike, but not
childish. And, as a point of theological importance: there is not the slightest hint of infant baptism in
this text. There is not a single drop of water. Not one

1) We come helpless and hopeful.


10:14 Jesus says children are the kind of people who enter, belong to the kingdom of God. We see
them
a) Coming to Jesus with the help of others,
b) No doubt with some degree of hope and expectation, small though it may be.
The phrase to such belongs is instructive. Children teach us something about entering the kingdom of
God. Children are helpless. They can do next to nothing for themselves. Their very life is in the hands of
another. And yet, even at a very tender age, they seem to be filled with hope and expectation. Oh, they
dont know all that they need, but they know they need the help of another and they are hopeful they
will receive it. They come small, helpless, powerless. They have no clout, no standing, they bring
nothing but empty hands! And, only empty hands can be filled!
2) We come trusting and dependent. 10:15 Jesus says the kingdom of God is received not earned. Jesus
says the kingdom of God is received like a little child or it is not received at all. 8 By their display of trust
and absolute dependence on another, children point the way to entrance into Gods kingdom. A child
has a capacity to enjoy a lot but they can explain very little. They live by faith. Trust. Dependence. - They
must trust another to live. - They must trust another to survive.
3) We come for affection and blessing. 10:16 Jesus picked up the children. What a picture of massive
grace. What a picture of the gospel! He is tender and affectionate to those who bring nothing to Him but
their need. He blessed them, laying his hands on them. In their wonderful book The Blessing, John
Trent and Gary Smalley note there were several components of the Hebrew blessing. Five are noted: 1-
Meaningful touch 2- A spoken word 3- Attaching high value 4- Picturing a special future 5- An active
commitment

1) Our Lord touched, picked up and held these children


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CHILDRENS MINISTRY

2) He spoke a word of blessing over them.


3) He attached very high value as to their worth intrinsically and for instruction purpose.
4) Might he have spoken prophetic words for future service in Gods kingdom?
5) He made an active commitment to see the blessing fulfilled. Calvary and the cross say it all.

Consider what God says about children Whatever the realities of a childs life, God regards them
as precious. To Him, they are:
1. A sign. Children are Gods blessing (Psalm 127:3) and are missed when not part of the
covenant community.
2. In need of teaching. They are to be treasured and taught both in the community and home
(Deuteronomy 6, 11).
3. A symbol. Children are illustrations of the relationship God wants with adults (Hosea 11:1,
Matthew 18:2-3).
4. Worthy of protection. God is on the side of the vulnerable (Psalm 68:5; James 1:27). When
children are neglected, abused, victimised, God grieves. Jesus strongly advocates for their
protection (Matthew 18:5-6, 10).
5. Worshippers. Children are designed to praise God (Psalm 8:2). Praise is not something they will
learn to bring when they are older it is their role now. Children give praise to Jesus even when
adults reject him (Matthew 21:15).

Be careful! Don't make the mistake of thinking that little children are unimportant! I tell you that they have
angels who are always with my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10 NCV)

Research by George Barna and the Barna Institute of over 1,000 adults in May 2001 puts the probability
at

32% for children between 5 and 13 years old,


4% for children between 14 and 18, and
6% for people 19 years and older.

In other words, attracting younger children to a church to learn about the Love of God will have 5 to 8
times the impact of attracting the same number of older children or adults. Barna's research on faith
development and discipleship also found that the moral development of children is complete by age 9.

Non-religious oriented research on children's moral and values development substantiates that the
foundation for lifelong values and morals are formed at the earliest years.

The May 2001 Barna's research also showed that church attendance by children has a lifelong impact. The
majority (61%) of adults who attended church as children still attend regularly, while only 22% of those
who were not churchgoers as children attend church today.

Early churchgoing also has an impact on whether parents bring their children to church. For parents who
were churched as children, 63% take their own children to church. That's double the proportion among
adults who were not churched and now have children of their own (33%).

George Barna states:

"The research is very clear: if Jesus is not already part of their lives by the time they leave junior high
school, the chances of them accepting Him as their Lord and savior is very slim (6%, to be exact). With
children, it is just the opposite. Because of the challenges and insecurities they face in life, they are very
open to being a part of a community of like-minded people who grow together. Children have a
tremendous influence within their families and on the choices they make in all areas of life...
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The greatest evangelical window currently available is among young children."