Children and young people are not only the Church of tomorrow they are the Church of today.
Jesus showed preferential consideration for children and we must do the same. If we do not do so, not only will the future of our churches be in doubt, they will be impoverished in the present.
We have much to learn from children and young people in our parishes and schools and much to offer to them.
Sunday Schools have played a crucial part in the Christian formation of children and young people. A well resourced Sunday School or Junior Church can still play a vital role in a church’s outreach to young families. There is some very good material available from both Scripture Union and The Good Book Company.
Schools and colleges
In 2010, a report entitled Going for Growth set out a vision for the Christian nurture of children and young people. It spoke of ‘every child and young person having a life"enhancing encounter with the Christian faith and the person of Jesus Christ’.
Initiatives like ‘Open the Book’ and ‘Messy Church’ are important alongside the traditional role of the church in areas such as chaplaincy and governance.
Some churches involve children and young people in decision making processes including strategic planning and the making of appointments.
Unchurched children and young people
Thought should be given to a strategy for making trusting relationships with unchurched children and young people.