2016 is right on us. The Father has been gracious to us in building his church in Rome and across the globe through our work over 13 years. We are super thankful to have been part, and we are even more thanful for what is to come. Here is a quick highlight of 2 changes that help us refine / dial in our work over the long haul of doing Kingdom work. (I say big and yet small all in the same video. These little changes seem big to me due to having been here since inception yet they are not really big at all, just different for my small brain and not reading a script, just speaking as I normally do.)
December 27, 2015
- It’s in the Manual!
- Family Equipping not family based (not youth or children’s ministry leader just dads/moms etc. discipling at home) or programmatic ministry model (fully age-graded and staffed by church members and ministry professionals where parents simply drop off and pick up)
- Parental Involvement
- Responsibility Required
- You should read “Trained in the Fear of God” by Randy Stinson and Timothy Paul Jones
Some Biblical Truths About Children
Having Children to fill the earth and subdue it is part of the creation mandate Genesis 1:26-28
- God is creator. He made man in his image. Part of image bearing is creating. Not from nothing but from creation. Having children and sending them is an image bearing thing.
- Having children and sending them to fill domains and bring them under the rule of Jesus through the gospel of the kingdom is the micro level of what the church is to be doing in equipping and sending it’s people.
- Therefore, partnering with parents to help them equip and send their children is what we are trying to do and are to be doing.
Due to the fall our created image bearers are born broken in soul and body. They are dead to God and they will die physically one day. Romans 5:12ff
- Overcoming the fall requires ongoing training at home and when gathered with the church corporate.
- Family level work needed
- Church level work needed
- We actually have to do something to repair the damage of the fall.
- Discipling our children is full-time work
Due to Jesus’ coming, dying and resurrection the curse has been broken. Image bearers can be reconciled back to God. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20
- Our children’s lives can be brought under the rule of Jesus.
- Our children’s lives brought under the rule of Christ requires:
- Intentionality in church attendance
- Intentionality in RL engagement
Jesus loved children and taught that we must receive the kingdom like children Matthew 18:1-6
Children are God-given illustrations on how we are to follow Jesus: trust him wonder at him and receive his rule Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15
- Therefore, we are to value our children by:
- Training them at home and in the corporate body together
Illustration: Gabriel’s Manhood Birthday: Emmett and Nathan
spoke into his life blessing and truth because it has been a
church wide work in training our children.
- We are to welcome children and nurture them into Christ
- We are to learn how to follow Jesus by how they trust us to lead them
Jesus, in these passages, was living out his command, and teaching us to live out his command in Deuteronomy 6:4-9
So, what do we do with these truths?
We have had and operate by a vision for our children’s ministry, Radical Kids
- Prime children’s hearts for communion with God
- Gospel, Gospel, Gospel
- Prepare children for community with the church
- Gather in RK (little RL groups)
- Gather in corporate worship
- Grow relationships with people who share kingdom DNA not simply church DNA
- Equip children for collision with culture
- Invest in their future global engagement
- Keep the nations in front of them (All Saint’s Day; Missionary talks)
Radical Life lived out in our children’s ministry.
How do we seek to implement Radical Kids?
- Employ a family equipping model not a family-based model or a church programmatic model.
- Parental involvement as equipping for all parents and all children together
- Involvement is required to make the ministry run!
- Curriculum resources give an overview of the bible, doctrine and the Great Commission that can be employed at home.
- Three Rivers investment of $50 to every child dedicated at Three Rivers to be added to at key events in order for their first overseas trip to be paid for.
What fruit do we currently see from Radical Kids?
- Students from RK are the first to volunteer and they actually have a set up
- What you invest in is what your kids will do and be!
- Students from RK are beginning to infiltrate a growing student ministry.
- Opportunities for a Wednesday night discipleship opportunity this year for both campuses.
- Service to the body and the community
- A chance for some of our RK who have the resources and are compelled to go, to partner with some Three Rivers folks in a country that request we come to prayer walk their city because they are the only Christians there.
- We get to see that money invested pay some kingdom dividends.
My favorite Christmas poem. Enjoy!
We have been investing in our children for nearly 13 years. The fruit of that work is seen weekly as youth who have grown up in RK serve and parents who tirelessly work in RK make the function of Three Rivers happen.