Recently I have been reviewing my notes from when I attended Bethel Seminary for a year and some of the children’s ministry classes I took. Here is a reflection I wrote in my notes when asked to think about what it means to “cross the line of faith” for children:

Family. Christians are the special people of God in this world. An act like baptism or coming forward, or a realization of God in your life that is an expression of faith and belief can be called justification by Jesus—demarcated as a member of the covenanted family of God in the way of Jesus. We then, live out that demarcation in light of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.

We live as family members of a community of people who are committed to loving and serving the world as Jesus did. We do this together. Children, teenagers and adults can all do this together.

Helping to set the table is important in children’s spiritual formation at various times and in various ways throughout the year and throughout the years. It could be various expressions of faith:

  • creating of a sacred space
  • rituals
  • traditions
  • calls to commitment
  • reaffirming the commitment, etc.

All of these are ways to display to children what it means to be part of this special family of God made possible by Jesus and sustained by the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Maybe we need to spend less time worried about how to make kids part of the family and spend more time worried about living out our family values (according to Jesus and by the Holy Spirit) so as to almost attract kids, students, or adults to being a part of the family because it is so attractive the kind of life Jesus wants us to live.

Shouldn’t we be a different kind of people?

Shouldn’t we be the kind of people who stand up and make a difference in our world?

And other people take notice and think: “Wow. Those are church people. I wonder why they would sacrifice for that person. Or I wonder why they would help that person. Or I am so thankful that they stood up for me.”

Shouldn’t we be more focused on a kingdom of heaven impact on this world and less on making our club bigger?

God wants nothing less than his kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


  1. “I would rather see a Christian than hear one any day.” Words can be so shallow, so easily just imitation. Spiritual growth and change of living must be the foundation of our testimony. Christ-like living must be deeper than copy-cat mimicing “. . . . that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”

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