The Concept of aChild Friendly Church
Jesus Loves Children!
Many know the song, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…”. But have we ever realized how special children really are to Jesus? He put His arms around them and gave them priority over the everyday business of His disciples. With their faith, their dependency, their trust, children serve as examples of what our faith should be like. They are our benchmark for entrance into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16) Children have a value that – unfortunately – is not recognized by many, if not, most parts of our society, or sometimes our churches.
Modelling itself after Jesus, the Church of the Nazarene acknowledges that children are important to God and a priority in His kingdom. We believe God directed us to attend to all children – to love, nurture, protect, uphold, guide, and advocate for them. It is God’s plan that we introduce children to the life of salvation and growth in grace.
Salvation, holiness, and discipleship are possible and imperative in the lives of children. It is important for us to recognise that children are not a means to an end, but full participants in the Body of Christ. Children are disciples in training, not disciples in waiting.
Children are a Part of the Church
The Church of the Nazarene envisions an intergenerational faith community where children and youth are loved and valued, where they are ministered to and incorporated into the church family through a wide variety of means and methods, and where they have opportunities to minister to others in ways consistent with their ages, development, abilities, and spiritual gifts.
We invite local churches to undertake an honest self-evaluation to determine whether or not their ministries include children in a way that makes them what we call a “Child-friendly Church.” A Child-friendly Church is where children are welcomed, recognized, valued, and where children are an integral part of the church family.
Characteristics of a Child-Friendly Church
We will support the local church in its endeavour with extensive training in the areas of church, ministry, and children, in holistic child development, and child protection.
After a church is evaluated and fulfills a certain number of the aforementioned characteristics, it is recognised and receives one of three possible awards.
Watch the Child Friendly Church Promotion Video
If you have any questions, or are interested in more details about this initiative, feel free to get in touch with us.