Week 7: The New Testament and Children Cont’d

Day 1: Children in the Church – Acts 21:5

As we move out of the gospels and into the second half of the New Testament we see that the Apostles were no more likely to ignore children in their ministries than was Christ. In Acts 21, we find a very simple, very brief mention of children taking part in the activities of the church. It doesn’t say much, but it does let us know they were there.

“And when we had accomplished those days: we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.” Acts 21:5

These believers knew they might never see Paul alive again. They walked through the city together and out to the ship that would take him on his way to Jerusalem. There they knelt together, men, women and children. They prayed, said their goodbyes and watched as Paul and those traveling with him boarded the ship. Then they made their way home.

Such a simple, yet important, moment. As I have worked with orphan ministries over the years, I have become completely convinced of the importance of having the children closely associated with their local church. Each needs the other for many reasons. The church needs the children as their reminded of what God has done for them, just as God said in the Old Testament. And the children need the love, care and guidance of the members of their church. What happens to an orphanage that is fully supported by a missionary when the missionary is forced to leave the field? Not only is their daily provision gone but what of their spiritual training and guidance? Who is left behind to guide them, encourage them and help them to walk in the ways of the Lord?

The New Testament believers included their children in their church activities. We need to do the same. How else will we set the example for them both of how they are to walk and of how the church is to carry on when we are gone?

So simple, but often neglected. What will the church of the next generation look like? That depends on how we train and involve our children today.

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Also Check out Rachel Miller’s Book: The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption

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