This was a very participative multiplex so my notes aren’t as detailed as normal and I can’t make my numbering work properly in wordpress, apologies! We started with a wide ranging paper about children.  In conclusion three points are clear:

  • Family is critical
  • Churches and Christian organizations are there to develop children and young people, and to be a wider family.
  • Community – children need to be protected and nurtured by their local community and other institutions e.g. school, police.  A healthy community is one in which children thrive – and the converse is also true.

Over 100,000 children planted a tree for the environment last year. Six key principles:

  1. 1. Reflect on children from a Biblical perspective
  • The Church & Great Commission: told to reach everyone from everywhere, but have we missed a big part of that.
  • The Children and the Great Omission: over 1,500 scripture references to children and yet so separate from both the church and community.  Very few major conferences engage with issues around children.
  • Rediscover Children in Scripture
    • Children represent the true nature of the Kingdom.
    • Children are part of God’s strategy to overcome the enemy.
    • The church will be fully accountable to God for the sins it commits and the obligations it omits about children.
    • Are children integrated into our work?  Four key suggestions
      • Search out the “child” themes in the Bible
      • Hold Biblical reflections on God’s heart for children
      • For seminaries – provide program courses
      • Enlist in forums that are bringing together church leaders, theologians, children’s leaders, parents.
  1. 2. Disciple for long-lasting faith
  • When children and young people leave the church we offer no alternative for those.  We need to find new ways to disciple children.
  1. 3. Recognise and encourage the potential of children
  • Like a balloon which as rubber on its is not much use but as a balloon is great
  • Six challenges 28,000 children:
  1. 19% think about suicide
  2. 39% experience sexual intercourse
  3. 32% consumed enough alcohol to get drunk in the last 3 months
  4. Ethical behavior: 65% lied, 55% cheated, 15% stole and 64% broke the law
  5. 77% less than 1 hour communicating with their parents
  6. 82% invest time in “communicating” with MTV, and more than 8 hours a week spent on the internet.
  • Lessons from Latin America:
    • Community impact is the outcome of personal transformation
    • Prophetic Word & Prophetic Living
    • Mobilisation = Unity in Motion
      • The Lausanne Movement
      • The Global Children’s Forum (84 leaders from 21 nations and 50 organisations)
      • The Transform World and 4/1/4 Window Movement
      • The Latin America Roundtable
      • Children as agents of transformation, e.g. Israel (aged 4) preaching in Latin America to over 10,000 preachers and government ministers; Carol (aged 14) preaches to young people; Josue (aged 8) preaching from the perspective of an indigenous child missionary.
  1. 4. Partner with others within a Kingdom agenda
  • If Jesus said a prayer for your or your ministry what would you want him to pray for?  He did in John 17:20ff – he asked us to be one.
  • When we work together we see things differently and get the bigger picture.
  • Psalm 133, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 4:1-13, John 17:20-23
  1. 5. Share and contextualize resources
  • Is it possible to reach all the children in the world?  Saying the name of all 2 billion children would take you 150 years!
  • In some places there are many resources, and others only have a few.  But that’s not the big picture – some people have more initiative and creativity.
  1. 6. Adapt and use technology
  • CD-Rom given out on Friday is unusual – it has no names on it as the people who contributed felt it was more important to build the kingdom rather than their brand; it’s copyright free so you can copy it a million times and more; it’s got resources from over 50 resources, worth well over £1 million!

Spoken on 6 key principles, but they know there maybe more to add, Lausanne participants can add their comments on the commitment form asking us which principle we’ll focus on.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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