Essential Church? Children’s Discipleship – The Place To Be

Wanda Parker

If you are looking for curriculum to disciple the children in your church check out Sunday Plus click here

I continue to Blog on the book “Essential Church?” but relate it to the disicpleship of children (birth-6th grade) as opposed to teens, as the authors Thom and Sam Rainer address.

Page 61 “We want the church to regain its status as the ‘third place.’
“The third place is an anchor of the community, which facilitates relational interaction between people in the community.”

This is what Starbucks has strived to become.  Have you noticed if you go into the same Starbucks for a few times they begin calling you by name when you enter the door.  They remember what you orderon a regular basis too.  It is the place where everyone knows who you are and are glad to see you.

This is what any Esstential Church is – from the time you first enter the church, even if you are only an infant.  It is where you are known, where people are excited to see you.

I tell the STORY OF AN INFANT here

PRESCHOOL STORY

I remember one Sunday standing outside the 4 year old Sunday morning room as they were releasing children to parents.  A mom came to the door to get her son and when he saw her he began to cry. “No, no I don’t want to leave,” he cried (indicating he wanted to stay for the next service).

“But you have a birthday  party to go to.” mom pleaded.

“No, I might miss something.” the little boy cried.

“But there will be cake and ice cream and you may win a prize,” mom continued to plead.

Mom of course won but I stood in the background telling God, “Yes! yes! thank you Lord for making this a welcoming, good place for this child – better than a birthday party.”

ELEMENTARY STORY

Dad had been oversees for a year in the military, while he was gone mom had started bringing the kids to church.  The kids were excited because dad was coming home the following Saturday – no one expected to see them Sunday morning.  BUT there the WHOLE family was walking up to the church.

Dad had gotten home close to midnight but one of the first things the kids told him was that they all had to go to church the next moring.  They were in their parents’ bedroom early waking mom and dad up telling them to get up.  Dad said they told him how great church is and that he had to come and see how great it is too.

Three stories of the church becoming an essential place, becoming the third place, to children.  Oh yes the first place is home and the second place is school.

I use to tell our team of shepherds and disciplers that we needed to develop a ministry through which kids would grow up feeling so connected to the church that one of the first places they wanted to go when they came home on Christmas break was to see everyone at church.

How do you do that?  I’d love to hear your stories.

Listed below are my other posts on the Essential Church and Discipling Children with more stories of how I’ve seen the church become an essential place, the third place for kids.

Here are links to previous posts on the Discipleship of Children:  Discipleship and Sumer Sundays click here, Discipleship through Summer Ministry #1 click here, Discipleship through Summer Ministry #2 click here, Discipleship of Infants and Toddlers click here, the high calling of discipling children and the difference adults can make in the life of a child click here,  is your church raising up 1st,  2nd or 3rd generation Christians click here,  the importance of parents modeling their faith, of the church modeling the faith click here, research shows that 70% of churched kids are walking away – does your church have a plan to disciple your children click here

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