Last Sunday, our simple church group met at our house. The person facilitating our discussion and study was my 9 year-old daughter. She created a PowerPoint about creation. She asked us to read Scripture, showed pictures that she felt were good images to correspond with Genesis, and asked what questions we had. Her presentation led into much further conversation.
Sometimes, we mistakenly think that things in the church need to be so complicated that children can't understand them for them to be right. I think it must make us feel more "spiritual" or something. (I confess that we had that moment on Sunday as the adults immediately got into a discussion about creation versus evolution, as adults usually do. It wasn't until I realized that my daughter had left the room that it dawned on me that we had gotten off track. She wanted to remember and celebrate the awesomeness of God, but we wanted to debate "academic matters." More on that in another post??)
The truth found in Scripture, though, paints a vividly different picture. It is the children that hold the wisdom of God. It is the children who give praise to the Father even from infancy. On occasion, we are blessed when we simply let children lead the way to our Savior. After all, His kingdom belongs to them.
Developmentally, there are age-appropriate considerations to factor in when serving aside children in God's church. Spiritually, they might be light years ahead of us, but humanly speaking, they do have limitations in understanding and ability to communicate. However, even while taking this fact into account, it is still worth asking what the children can do to impact the world now. I have a hard time believing Jesus would have ever used the phrase, "church of tomorrow."
Keep in mind that the measure for us in the simple church is reproducibility. We know something is simple if it is easily reproducible. It is an essential part of spreading the gospel. A way to determine if a practice is reproducible is by asking, "Who else could do this?" If our answer leaves out children every time, then we might need to re-think our theology and mission. It could be a sign that we have missed it on both counts. If our kingdom only delegates the "cute" or "juvenile" things to young people, then maybe it is a substitute kingdom made by our intellect rather than God's power.