If I survey my life, I find certain qualities that are not good. In fact, there are issues I have wrestled with my entire life. When my children were born and I began parenting them, I suddenly realized that those same qualities were evident in them. Apparently, they had picked them up from somewhere. Sometimes I say things and sound exactly like my 90 year-old father. Hmm…
Children know how to follow others
Over the years of ministry with children, I have watched boys and girls grow and develop. I have noted the manner in which they walk like one of their parents, have mannerisms like their mother, or say things in the same tone of voice as a parent.
Discipleship involves someone imitating the Master and becoming more and more like them. Children can imitate someone else; in fact it is one of their most defining qualities.
Children learn from our example and model the behavior of others. This is why children make such excellent disciples of Jesus Christ. Discipleship involves someone imitating the Master and becoming more and more like them. Children know how to imitate someone else. In fact it is one of their most defining qualities.
God uses children in many different ways
Some tend to negate the spiritual life of children. However, they should take note of the following:
- Children can be used by God to oppose His adversaries (Psalm 8:1-2)
- Children can hear God’s voice and speak on His behalf (I Samuel 3:1-4:1)
- Children can praise and worship God (Matthew 21:16)
- Children can be an example to others (Matthew 18:1-9)
- Paul addresses children directly when he writes to churches (Ephesians 6:1-3)
Children can follow Christ, become like Him and be used by Him in this world. In fact, this discipleship is what they were created for.
Children’s discipleship can point us to God
Years ago living in Poland, we were facing a particularly difficult family challenge. I was in the kitchen planning and fretting like usual. Our five-year old daughter walked in. Standing at the kitchen door she said, “maybe we should pray?”
I am fairly certain that was supposed to be Dad’s line in the life play. God used her to teach me.
Last year, I visited my wife’s Christian school for chapel. In the front rows of their little outdoor chapel were the 4- and 5-year-olds. During the worship, I watched little boys and girls singing their tiny hearts out. Many of them had their eyes closed and hands lifted in a posture of surrender and worship. I could cite many more examples, but suffice it to say that I believe children actually make the best disciples in the world.