Investing in Children
Today we are going to draw upon different Bible verses to help emphasise why and what we want to teach our children.
As mentioned yesterday ‘little people’ or children are at their most impressionable when they are young and haven’t had any other influences, they contain a freedom and excitement about things that we as adults would not be able to equal.
To invest in our children should be top of our list, we will all do it for different reasons, but in the context of uC Grace and Living Colour, there are 3 words that sum help sum up our thinking – passion, commission, generation.
passionate about children, watching them grow, encouraging them and releasing
them into who they were made to be. That doesn’t mean that they have to be a
prima ballerina or world class contemporary choreographer. It means that they
are encouraged to develop for themselves their own thinking, their own passions,
interests, friends and personality. It’s not about pushing something they don’t
want to do onto them.
Mark 10.13-16 - The little children and Jesus
… ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these… And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
When you choose to invest in children it will be because it’s on your heart to do so, the Bible talks about not hindering the children when they want to come to Jesus, but you’ve got to offer them a chance to do that first, choose to bless them.
Our passion is for the children to come to Jesus through dance and movement; dance cuts across boundaries and cultures and portrays attitudes and beliefs that are often hard in normal life. It draws upon emotions, experiences, memories and encourages children to work with these to draw closer to God.
But we have this passion because we are being obedient to what God has called us to do. In Matthew 28, Jesus gives us The Great Commission to –
… go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…
To invest in children is to
obey the Commission that Jesus gave us, a child is a disciple of a nation just
as much as an adult, therefore they should be offered the same time, compassion
and energy that an adult does.
We already know that children pick up impressions and nuances from a young age, so it makes natural sense that we should be able to offer them to choose, the love, faith and blessing that Jesus wants us to give them right from when they are little.
There will be some people who consider that children are not important, that time does not need to be set aside to work with and provide opportunities for them. But sit and watch a child dance for God, with no inhibitions, a huge smile and a heart that just wants to express what they have inside them.
Children are the next generation. I could just stop there and say nothing more, as that sums it up pretty nicely. But instead I am going to make reference to the Parable of the Mustard Seed in Mark 4.30-34. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth, but can produce one of the biggest plants. When you begin to sow in children, you won’t know what is being taken and stored, or thrown away. Whether just small remnants or larger remnants remain, but there will be something there, and taking the time to impart it to the next generation as soon as possible, means that they can start doing the same as soon as they are ready.
In today’s society, many children come from all sorts of different home situations; dance and movement will bring out some possible problems and emotions that may usually stay well under the surface. But it will also provide consistency from leaders and other children in the group; relationship building is paramount for children to know that they are in a safe and secure environment.
Why dance and movement?
Dance encourages growth of self-esteem, beliefs, accomplishments and many other skills, releasing them to live their life in a way that they want too and will be of value to them.
The creative workshops allow an outlet for personal exploration of movements in a guided and improvised structure, providing the children with the necessary skills for them to choreograph their own dances, in addition to allowing emotional, physical and social well-being to be improved.
There is so much that could be spoken about investing in children, and there are just a few things, but for us here at uC Grace we see the reasons to invest in children are because we have a Passion to share, have been Commissioned by God to make disciples of all nations and the NEXT GENERATION IS IMPORTANT, we pass the baton on to them.
Tomorrow we will start to identify more with using dance and movement to aid this investment, but looking at ways you engage and interact with different children.