How soon should we start teaching children about God and His love for them?
The answer is found in 2 Timothy. It says this.
"From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15, NIV).
This verse clearly shows us that we should start teaching children about God and His Word from the time they are born.
In many churches, the nursery is just viewed as babysitting. The "real" ministry for kids doesn't start until they are in kindergarten or even first grade. If that is your mindset, please read the rest of this article.
I believe the early years of a person's life are the most critical. Children are learning so much by watching, listening and interacting with adults. They are absorbing information that will shape who they will be in the future.
Timothy is a great example of this. He was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor, born of a Greek father and a Jewish mother who had become a Christian believer. The apostle Paul met him during his second missionary journey, and he became Paul's companion and co-worker along with Silas.
From infancy, Timothy's mother, Eunice and his grandmother Lois, poured the Word of God into his life. We see this in 2 Timothy 1:5.
"I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also" (2 Tim. 1:5).
Timothy became a great Christian leader because his mother and grandmother made spiritual investments in his life from infancy.
Here's my question for church leaders today. Do you view your nursery as a big spiritual investment opportunity in people's lives?
From infancy, we must help kids see they have a heavenly Father that loves them.
From infancy, we must pour worship music into children's minds.
From infancy, we must plant seeds of faith into children's lives.
From infancy, we must whisper into the mind of children that Jesus is the Son of God.
From infancy, we must pray over the infants that we are holding.
From infancy, we must have strategic curriculum that will start building the foundation of faith in children's lives.
From infancy, we must read the Bible to children.
From infancy, we must model for children what it means to follow Jesus.
From infancy, we must pray daily for the children God has placed in our life.
From infancy, we must point children toward Jesus.
From infancy, we must partner with parents and provide them with tools and resources for raising their children to love and follow Jesus. One of your best opportunities to do this is during parent and child dedication. Don't miss this opportunity to invest in parents and share with them how to raise their children to love Jesus. You can get the class information about this by clicking on the picture.
Nursery volunteers, you are not babysitting. You are planting seeds of faith into the lives of the infants and parents who you serve.
Nursery volunteer, remember, you don't know who you are rocking. The child could be the next Billy Graham.
Nursery volunteers, there is a reason God's Word talks about ministering to people from the time they are in the nursery.
Nursery volunteers, when you minister to infants, you are sending a message to a day you will never see. The little ones you are investing in now, will one day be the church leaders.
True success in life is not about how much "stuff" you can accumulate. Rather, it's about whom you can help raise to follow Jesus.
Today's children are growing up in a culture that says there are many ways to God. Do what is right in your own eyes. Truth is what you make it.
This is in stark contrast to what God's Word says in this verse. Look at it again.
"From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
From infancy, we must teach children the Bible is the final authority. We must instill in them the wisdom that comes from God. We must teach them salvation comes only through faith in Jesus.
It's time we get really, really serious about teaching children from infancy that Jesus is the Son of God. That Jesus loves them. That the Scriptures are the source for wisdom.
Lead on, nursery volunteers. You matter and what you do matters ... more than you know.
Dale Hudson has been in children's ministry for over 27 years. He is the director of children's ministry at Christ Fellowship Church in South Florida. Christ Fellowship has nine campuses and ministers to over 25,000 people on weekends. Dale leads a children's ministry staff team of over 70 and a volunteer team of over 2,600. He has authored 100 Best Ideas to Turbocharge Your Children's Ministry, 100 Best Ideas to Turbocharge Your Preschool Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, Sunday School That Works, the churchleaders.com Top 100 book, and If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry. You can find more of his helpful resources at relevantchildrensministry.com or buildingchildrensministry.com.
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