This is the tenth and final post in a series of reflections on a Children’s Ministry White Paper written by Doug Paul from Eikon Community (you can view the original document here).

The strength of having a space like Missional Communities is they allow people to enter more freely into each other’s lives without the pretext of “church” and all that can sometimes come with it. For kids who have parents that aren’t Christians, this is particularly important. It allows a family to invite that child into their rhythms (assuming the family isn’t hostile to their kid hanging out with them, which usually they aren’t).

Missional Communities work because they can integrate many types of people and there is the opportunity for kids to have spiritual parents who aren’t their own. This is particularly helpful for MCs with children because they are often neighborhood based and parents don’t have to worry about dropping their kids off at a place (church) they don’t attend (with people they don’t know).

For children and teenagers who want to be a part of the family of God, but whose parents do not, the community of faith gets to sort of adopt them. In short, we are called to nurture faith as spiritual parents.

Encouraging these students to be a part of regular children and youth programming at church is a start. But these students need to SEE faith lived out in the context of average, everyday human interaction. With parental permission, inviting them in to a small group or a “missional community” would sort of substitute for what they lack in their natural home environment.

This is tricky if your church is outreached focused like Hayward Wesleyan. We get a lot of students who want to follow Jesus, but then go home to a home that doesn’t have affection for Christ. Trying to get all these hungry students connected with mentors and surrogate families is daunting and overwhelming. Now, not everyone is hungry for the things of Christ, but we do have more students seeking than we do adults willing to stand and fill in the gap for these students.

Interesting problem to have, eh?


  1. yeah -cool stuff –liked the idea of standing in the GAP-or maybe like picking up the slack –never looked at it that way –the idea is not a hard thing to do -but it is a great thing to do -that we all can do -what a better world this would be and the eternal difference we could make in kids lives would be awesome –I have heard that each young boy growing up needs 4-5 significant adult christian males in their life to provide examples, direction, encouragement, love, discipline, friendship, the list goes on and on and on —many of the young boys today have None –zero — nobody -their GAP is huge -no wonder things are the way they are —and if we don’t help and stand in the gap for the boys these young boys will naturally find some one or some thing else to fill in the GAP???–and most of these aren’t good—what a way to make a eternal difference , to give purpose to your life, to do something great and exciting -stand in the GAP for a kid —

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