The Highest Calling of a Children’s Pastor

head_christianHeart Knowledge or Head Knowledge: Teaching the Bible systematically to children is important. I go so far to say it’s essential to have children grow up knowing the Word of God. But if all you’re giving your students is knowledge, it’s not enough. Heart knowledge of God is vital.

John 5:39  You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

Head knowledge will teach students facts, but it will not impart the divine light of God’s living Word, Jesus Christ. When children internalize this divine light, they learn the truth of God’s Word, and it takes root in their hearts.

2 Corinthians 4:6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Children don’t just need to know about God. This need to know God and have their own relationship with Him. Too many people have been raised in the church thinking they were right with God because of head knowledge, only to find that wasn’t enough. These are the children who often grow up in the church only to turn their back on God as teens or adults.

Crossing the Jesus bridgeSalvation: Too many ministries focus on helping children know how to be good. It’s important for children to know what God expects from them, but they can never be good enough to please God. Children need to know that they are sinners and that Christ died for them so they could be set free from the curse of sin. He took their punishment. Until they surrender their lives to God, they will never be saved no matter how good they are or how often they attend church. They also need to understand this is more than having head knowledge about God’s gift of salvation or saying a magic prayer. Salvation begins with God’s grace, and ends with a sinner surrendering and yielding to God’s divine light.

Ephesians 2:8  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.

Little boy hugging an old bookChanged Lives: Children need to know that when they are saved, their lives should change and transform. While everyone sins sometimes, a person who has really accepted Christ and become His child should want to please God and stay away from sin. When He does sin, he should be taught to confess that sin, turn to God, and repent. He should be taught that repentance is more than saying your sorry. It’s changing your mind and turning away from sin. If they still are happy living in sin, they are not really saved.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Romans 12:1-2  Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Jesus Christ crown of thorns and nailA Living Sacrifice: Children also need to understand that when they are saved, they’re giving their lives to God. They are surrendering and yielding control of their lives to God. The lives they live are no longer their own.

Romans 12:1-2  Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Revival Celebration 1.2bFullness of Joy: Children who have a heart knowledge of God should be taught how they can expect fullness of joy in their lives. They can live in God’s abundant life of peace, love, hope, faith, and joy. They can expect the favor and direction of God in their lives. They can expect the baptism, gifts, and fullness of the Holy Spirit as children. They should be taught the John Piper quote” God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” When a child gets hold of God in this way, he will never turn from Him. He will want to spend time with God because it is fun.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

John 15:11  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Psalm 16:11  You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Crusade Girl WorshippingRelationship: When a child is saved, he has a right relationship with the God who created the universe. That child can abide or live in His presence. The more we yield to God, the closer our relationship with Him. We can talk to Him through prayer. We can get guidance from Him through the Bible. We can ask Him anything, and He will answer. We can fellowship with Him and come into His presence through praise and worship. When your students have a relationship like this with God, they won’t fall away as teenagers or adults. They will stand firm through trials and temptations, and if they do fall away, they won’t be able to resist God for long before they return to the fold. They will serve and enjoy God all the days of their lives and throughout eternity.

Ephesians 3:16-19  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

crusade-boy-at-altarHighest Calling: This is the highest calling of a children’s pastor, not to teach children about God, but to introduce children to God and help them develop their relationship with Him.

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