“Children are the church of tomorrow!”
Have you ever heard someone say this? People who say this have the best intentions. I understand what they mean, but it is a statement that is incorrect in every sense.
To make the statement kids are the church of tomorrow implies they are not a part of the church today. The truth is kids have just as much to offer in the church as many adults do; not just in skills and talents but in their spirits as well.
In my lifetime, I’ve met kids with a deeper spiritual walk than some adults. I’ve met people who have served Christ for 2 years who are more spiritually mature than some who have served Christ for 20 years. I’ve seen kids get filled with the Holy Spirit, share Christ with their friends, see their friends come to Christ, prophesy, lead worship, and do just about anything adults do. When it comes to spirituality, age or amount of time a person has served Christ does not always determine maturity, yet we get wrapped in this mindset that kids have less to contribute than adults.
In 2 Kings 22, God set 8 year old Josiah on the throne of Israel. No doubt he was surrounded by strong advisors for a long time, and his decision making ability was probably limited for a time, but I believe God appointed him for a reason. God is speaking clearly though this story saying that age does not matter, children are capable of leading. In this passage of scripture, we read that Josiah was righteous, following God in all he said and did. In his reign, the book of God’s law was found, he instituted as the law of the land, and brought the people of Israel back to God. Not bad for someone who started as an eight year old.
If children are the church of tomorrow, Jesus would have gone along with his disciples in shooing them away. He would have spent his time with the adults rather than blessing the children. Furthermore, He would not have made children the role model, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).”
Jesus understood the important role children play in the church today.
Children are a vital part of the church today, in every sense that any adult is a part of the church. If children are a part of the church of today, than who is the church of tomorrow? Anyone who has yet to receive Jesus as their savior is the church of tomorrow!