[Sarah McGiverin] The Six Essentials for Preaching to Children – If You Must Do Children’s Sermons, Here’s How
Sarah McGiverin originally posted this on her own blog, Jerusalem to Jericho. We’re thrilled to run it here as well – it’s an outstanding piece on a part of ministry that it’s far too easy to overlook. For students about to start Field Ed placements, this may be one to bookmark.
A few entries back on my blog, I mentioned that there were certain parameters within which a children’s sermon might operate – and outside of which it might do real harm. These are the essentials of a grace-infused children’s sermon, from my point of view. If you want to proclaim the good news to children, whether through a children’s sermon or in other ways, these six points need to be considered. I would welcome discussion of these points – or your own additional points! – in the comments.
1) Love the children
This sounds obvious, but it gets overlooked too often. This is the starting place. God loves children. As Christians, we are called to love all who God loves, and that includes children. We are not to fetishize them or worship them or relegate them to the front or the back – we are to love them. And to love someone, we must first see them – we must desire to understand them. We must listen. Loving children means paying attention to children. Loving children means devoting time to thinking through how we minister to children. Engaging children ought not be an afterthought, nor ought it be a means towards reeling in their parents (the ones with the money to fix our roof and pay the salaries!) Children are not the future of the church – they are within the body of Christ NOW, and are within God’s providential care as they are NOW – penniless and vulnerable. Read more