Whitney said, “I believe the children our future…” I think that song begins to run through the minds and hearts of people when they begin to hear people talk about children or youth in the church. They immediately think “future”. Oddly enough many of us ignore the second line, “Teach them well and let them lead the way.” What would happen if the children led the way?
I think that we might play more. I think that we might laugh more. I think that we might collapse at the end of each day in joyful exhaustion more often. I think that we might smile more.
It is interesting is it not that we as the Christian church have largely removed leadership from the hands of the young. Is it not also interesting that the great revivals in the history of the church have often been led by the young? Do we wonder why we have not seen a great revival in this generation? Could it be that our understanding of the role of children and youth has become anemic?
I am going to take a couple of posts to walk through the references in Matthew 18, 19 (and parallels) and Proverbs 22 to children with the goal of developing some type of “Theology of Youth”. What role do they play in the community of faith? What kind of leadership should we give to them? What does is it look like to embrace children and youth in the context of the church community?