by Sydney Morrow/ July 2, 2015
As leaders and those who are involved in ministering to kids during the very formative years of life, we need to be aware that we are helping to shape their understanding of the freedom that Christ purchased for them on the cross. Jesus said in John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (NLT). Young or old, Jesus provides freedom in our life when we invite Him to make our heart His home.
There are so many ways to assess whether someone truly understands what it means to be free in Christ. There are three elements that will be present in a child’s life when they understand the freedom that comes from Christ.
1. They know who they are in Jesus.
Knowing who we are in Jesus comes from understanding what He says about us in His Word. A lot of other things will try to dictate to us who we are. However we have got to allow the Word of God to define who we are. There is freedom in knowing who God says you are regardless of what the world says.
2. They know how to forgive.
In order to understand Christ’s freedom we must learn to forgive others. When we hold on to unforgiveness and bitterness we hold ourselves captive to the very people who hurt us. When we learn to truly forgive, then we learn what true freedom in Christ really is. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the person who hurt you to die. You only end up hurting yourself by allowing that root of unforgiveness to stay in your life. If a kid can grasp this at a young age, they will not walk around in bondage to unforgiveness as an adult. Freedom in Christ comes from forgiving.
3. They understand grace.
They understand that grace is free and we cannot do anything to earn it. Grace by definition is God’s unmerited favor. It means that we cannot do anything to deserve it. God in His love pours out His grace freely so that we can know Him. It is hard to grasp grace; that is why so many people work so hard to earn God’s love. There is so much freedom in understanding that God loves us no matter what we do. Out of that understanding of His love, we want to do great things for Him. The grace of God is free and is extended to all who ask for it.
As leaders, we have a great opportunity to disciple others so they know and trust God’s Word above anything else in their lives. Freedom in Christ is expressed best when healthy leaders disciple healthy kids to know who they are in Christ, forgive when they are wronged, and understand that grace is unmerited. When a child is actively engaged in discipleship, these elements should be present in their life as they learn what it means to walk in the freedom of Christ.
Do you regularly incorporate these three elements into the teachings of your kidmin?