This week has been our children’s holiday club here at church, where 80 children from our church and the wider Bicester community have come and learnt about God, the love he has for them, and how Jesus died to save them. Many wonderful volunteers have made this holiday club happen – let’s be thankful for them!
I have often heard it said in churches, that children are the future of the church. I disagree with this, and I’m guessing a few of those volunteers do too. Children are part of our church right now, not just in some imagined future time. As part of our church they should be able to serve others, worship, learn more about God, show us something of what God is like, and be part of our community at Emmanuel. Just as we have much to teach the children of our church about God, they too have much to teach us.
Throughout the bible, right from the start in Genesis, we are told that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). This is not something that happens as adults, it is true from the moment we are created. Therefore, our children bear the image of God and have something to teach us about him. They may teach us in ways that seem noisy, chaotic or humorous, but if we are willing to learn, God is waiting to be revealed.
In Matthew 19:14 we are told that Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” If Jesus is specifically welcoming children to come to him, then we must too.
I am writing this article on Tuesday, only 2 days into holiday club. I asked my 6 year old and some of his friends who are attending what it was like at holiday club and these were some of their answers:
“We made juggling balls and it was so much fun!”
“We learnt different ways of praying – did you know you can talk to God in your head or write him a letter?”
“I liked the game where the balloons were poisonous – but they weren’t really!”
I also asked April Beckerleg, who is one of the holiday club leaders, what made holiday club special. She reflected that everything was so much fun, and that there was a whole community that made that happen - from the children to the young adults volunteering to the slightly older adults!
Children are such a valuable part of our church community. As this week of holiday club comes to a close, let’s continue to proactively involve them in our church, as together we learn to walk with Jesus more deeply.