by Marshall Bruner/ October 25, 2017
When you read these Scriptures below, do you believe (I mean really believe from the depths of your soul) that God can and will establish these spiritual truths in the lives of your kids?
As Kidmin pastors and leaders, we know the facts about the capabilities of kids to achieve and to be bold in their faith. BUT too often we don’t believe it or demonstrate that our students can do all things through Christ who gives them strength (Philippians 4:13). Do you spend adequate time in your kids’ church and discipleship small groups challenging kids to be bold in their faith and to live out their beliefs before their friends and classmates?
I’ve had the privilege of traveling across the nation and challenging kids’ pastors and leaders to raise the bar of expectation for their kids to live out their faith. But through a simple survey process, I have consistently discovered that only 10 percent or less of the Kidmin leaders say they are consistently teaching their kids how to share their faith with others.
I remember well my first year in elementary school when all the first-grade classes got to participate in simple outdoor track activities. We had relay races and even a high jump competition. In the high jump competition, two students held a long bar as the other students jumped over it one at a time. Since we were just first graders, the bar was set extremely low at first to allow everyone to successfully jump over it. Then the bar was raised to a higher level to see who could jump over it again. The process became more difficult as the bar was raised, and eventually the competition came down to a handful of kids who could clear the bar. That was an easy and friendly level of competition that allowed everyone to succeed at first but only a few to win.
We want all our kids to win in life, but we apply the spiritual principles of winning in terms of our own human understanding. In kids’ church and in our discipleship small groups, we can and often do set the bar of expectation very low so that everyone can succeed. In the process of doing so, however, we may fail to understand what God wants to do in the lives of our kids, so we keep the bar of expectation too low and fail to challenge kids to believe they can do all things through Christ.
Do you believe (and put into practice) that your church kids can and will live out their faith before their friends and classmates—or are you afraid they won’t or can’t get the job done?
Our public schools are our mission field. The problem is that in the public schools we as children’s pastors/leaders cannot share our faith on the school campuses. But our church kids have no limitations of being Christ in the flesh at school!
Here are some practical steps you can take to help kids be BOLD IN FAITH.
Begin to believe that God will do mighty things in your life and in the hearts of your church kids. If you don’t believe that God will move boldly, then your actions will speak clearly and the bar of expectation will remain very low.
All too often we as children’s pastors/leaders allow curriculum to set the tone for what we teach our kids. But you must determine that you will systematically and continually challenge the kids to live out their faith. This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon! You MUST consistently teach kids throughout the year about living out their faith. Don’t worry, though, because this process can be a simple five-minute activity each week, which could be done as kids arrive before kids’ church or at the conclusion as parents pick them up. The key is being consistent.
Then as the year progresses, set the bar a bit higher each quarter. For example, after a period of time, you may go from: Telling someone in your class that you are a believer in Christ to Sharing your testimony with one person every week this month about why Jesus came to earth and about your story of what Jesus did for you.
Friend, this is not rocket science. It’s simply being obedient to the Holy Spirit and taking seriously the fact that Jesus wants kids—as much as the youth and adults—to, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation [so that] whoever believes … will be saved” (Mark 16:15,16, NIV).
Take the BOLD STEP. Begin now to teach your kids how to be bold in their faith. And don’t quit!