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  • David

    Member
    January 16, 2023 at 6:35 am

    The Seedbed Daily Wake-Up Call, January 16, 2023

    I am really struggling with how to respond to all of JD’s what ifs regarding “our” children. I firmly believe that children are our greatest responsibility. They are the future generation of the Church and the Church is always one generation away from extinction. I love the vows that parents and the congregation recite in traditional congregations when we baptize/christen an infant or a child that is unable or to young to answer for themselves (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/book-of-worship/the-baptismal-covenant-ii).

    “We first denounce the forces of evil and wickedness in the world and repent of our own sins. We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior, put our whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as our Lord, in union with the Church, which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races. Then we agree to nurture these children in Christ’s holy Church, that by our teaching and example they may be guided to accept God’s grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly, and to lead a Christian life.” Then we turn them back over to their parents and the Children’s/youth minister.

    What JD is suggesting goes way beyond this. It sounds great, but I am not sure how to implement it in a collective way other than to take these baptismal vows seriously, and to not hinder them or “provoke them to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, NASB). We also need to make children and youth ministry a priority in our churches and support them with our prayers, our presence, and our gifts.

    I also believe that if we are going to reach the next generation, we are going to have to reach and disciple the Fathers of the next generation. What’s really missing is Godly Father’s who will discipline and instruct their children in the Lord. Think about this and share your thoughts, especially those of you who are called to minister to children and youth. As I think about It, it may be easier to just provide diapers and casseroles.