Children, Young People and Families
From the very beginning when God recognised that it wasn’t good for any of us to be alone – family has featured and humans have connected with God both 1:1 and as family. It seems in our current 21st century context that the Spirit is drawing our attention again to the value and sacredness of family life (all shapes of family including single person families, with or without children families, any stage of life families) - and in particular to the benefits and life (and growth) that come from being part of an multi-generational family.
Family is spelled b-e-l-o-n-g-i-n-g. To flourish as a human being or to put it biblically, to live life in all its fullness, we need family. It’s where we begin learning what being and keeping safe is all about. It’s where we begin to understand the importance of boundaries and how to make our own and understand others’. It’s where we discern our calling, our significant place in the world and how we can contribute. Our “lived with” family is vital in this but so is our church family.
Within this perhaps the invitation comes again to value all the generations but to do so whilst keeping a strong focus on children and young people? After all, Jesus seemed to give us special responsibilities towards them! How can we nurture faith in children and young people, so that they have space to explore, experience and experiment in their lives with God? How might we adults be changed as we let them loose!?
It’s old news that in our context families are often 3 or 4 generations distant from hearing the good news of a Saviour who loves them and is for them. It seems that the Spirit may already be at work planting new (messy) congregations, opening up prayer spaces in schools and forming schools pastors’ teams, drawing us into mentoring young people especially with the decimation of local youth services. Is this the refreshing and reviving that we have been praying for?!
Where, how can we join in with God and connect with children, young people and families today? One new initative is our CYF Round Table. Also visit our dedicated links and resources for this area, and view our dedicated resource - The CYF Round Table Toolkit for churches, Joining the dots between church, home and school.