Sunday school was never meant to be FOR parents; it was meant to be done WITH parents. If you have a children’s program but no family ministry, it is like offering a child a vitamin with a candy bar. The partnership between the church and home is an important ingredient for healthy families.
The church is not closed – never has been – never will be, according to Ephesians 3:21. If you are not able to go to the church building of your choice tomorrow, CREATE YOUR OWN. Doing church at home is a great way to come together as a family. Have someone pick out a verse to share and discuss it as a family. YouTube is loaded with worship songs that have the words on the bottom. Pass juice and bread/crackers and take Communion together, talking about the meaning. Go around in a circle and share one thing you are thankful for (keep the game going until you run out of things to think of). Put on worship music (with or without words) and just lay quietly as a family, enjoying the peace of His presence. Ask Jesus what He wants to say to each person and spend time asking, listening, and sharing. Spiritual intimacy is great for family connections. Gather the kids and ask them for ideas – they always come up with great ideas.
Remember that the Kingdom is JOY – partnering with JOY as a family for your home church brings the Father great delight. Play a game, laugh, be silly and enjoy the JOY. Invite another family over to join you!
We attended a service, and they announced the little kids would be coming in and passing something out to the adults. I assumed it would be the youth group, but in walked the smallest of kids. They were adorable in every way! Suddenly the worship was ignited, and His sweet presence filled the room. It was like you couldn’t cuddle deep enough in His lap. It was so safe and secure. I asked God what He was doing, and He reminded me of a vision He gave me years ago about revival. He asked if I would enjoy a family reunion with the great and great greats. I agreed it would be so much fun to see those in my family line. He asked how I would feel if my own children weren’t there, and I would be sad if they missed out. It would bring me so much joy to have them there with me to experience what I was experiencing. He said, “That is how I feel when ALL of my family is together.”
Get this – adults are feeling uncomfortable, and He brings the little ones into the room, releasing His presence over the adults, and touching them deeply. The Father’s delight is released when the WHOLE family is present in His presence.
This is what I repeatedly hear as I release this message to parents and church leaders.
“Lisa, you are giving words to what I have felt for a long time but didn’t know how to communicate.”
YES! Because the seed has already been placed inside of you, they are beginning to sprout. God trained you under the Church Era, but you were born for the Kingdom Era.
God has been growing this message for parents in my heart for almost ten years. It has been a challenging thing to steward as it was so opposite spirit of the current church model for children. This is the birthing of this message as we continue to move into the Kingdom Era which will be marked by parents taking their rightful places of authority.
You can watch here: Children & Church – YouTube
What would your community look like if you had a parent talking about fear, sibling conflict, and identity and handed them the HEART SPLINTERS book to take home and read to gain a better understanding and tools? Yeah, that is what this book does. It leads people to Him in practical and tangible ways. Empower parents in your community with the tools of heaven.
God asked me a series of three questions. First, He asked what my ministry mission was, and I said, “In a nutshell, we defeat the works of the enemy in the family room.” He asked me how I do that, and I replied, “By helping parents connect to Him and how to play in His Kingdom.” Lastly, He asked me what the biggest thing that resisted my labor was. I began to weep and said, “Parents who have been hurt in the church and feel so disempowered.” Guess what? The next generation suffers the most when people get hurt in the church because parents parent from that place of being disempowered, shut down, and stuck in their journey. If leaders in the church want to impact the next generation and the future health of their church, go after the parents because they will naturally parent from those unhealed places or through their freedom, wholeness, and revelation of who they are. Children reap the fruit either way. Every adult sent out of a pastor’s office has children at home learning something about God’s house.
The kids and I were praying for a friend walking through some deep hurts from their church. It was painful to see them hurting over what feels so unjust. We were reminded of some of our own experiences with imperfect leaders. Interactions with those in authority shape our spiritual development. One of the kids said, “Mom, really, what’s the point of church? People can just go to Jesus on their own.” It was a real and honest statement from a child who has seen the ‘ugly’ side of the church. I was moved to tears and said, “No, no, no, child. The church is Jesus, and we come to worship Him, not man. Just because man has been imperfect in leading like Jesus doesn’t mean we turn on the church. We love, honor, and respect the church, AND we walk through hurts, disappointments, and being misunderstood.” I realized in that moment how many children grow up resenting the church, not just from their own experience but from witnessing the church bring pain to their parents.
If being hurt by the church is something you have experienced, it is imperative that you walk through it with your children so that they do not gain a warped view of the church. I explained that the church is Jesus’ Body, just like we have a liver, spleen, nose, eyes, hair, arms, etc. The church is made up of all sorts of different people. Just because the liver is weak doesn’t mean we give up on the whole body. We pray for the liver to be healed and whole, but we don’t give up on it. The church is family, and we do not discard family just because they are imperfect.
We owe it to the next generation to invite, bridge, and restore them to the church!