Let's Read: When Children Become Brothers And Sisters

Monday, 6th November 2023
Image: lets-read-when-children-become-brothers-and-sisters

When Children Become Brothers And Sisters

By Claire McNabb

Being part of a children’s or youth ministry definitely has ups and downs; we put so much work into an event only to find that nobody comes, or we stay up late at youth weekends and then reap the reward of being exhausted for the rest of the week. So often we don’t see the fruit of our labour here and now but sometimes the Lord gives us a little glimpse, and it’s such a joy when we see our children and young people come to Christ and continue to walk well with him.

This is why books like Jared Kennedy's are so important. They encourage us in the challenge, help us reflect on our practice, and ensure that we keep thinking about reaching the coming generation.

Jared Kennedy begins his book by highlighting the two main ways of viewing who bears the primary responsibility for discipling children—parents or the church family. Regardless of your opinion, his point is that our focus must be on centering our children’s and youth ministry around Jesus. Although the task of discipling the next generation can seem enormous I found it helpful to note that Kennedy’s aim is to help us have our “confidence rooted in the simple message of ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified’”. With this sure foundation even though we may feel weak, tired or overwhelmed we continue to “consider the one who welcomed children himself, [and] know that the Saviour and his good news is enough to keep you, and to keep your children’s ministry on mission”.

Chapter one shows us that we need to have a gospel-centered vision for children’s ministry. Why? Because children need the gospel! Children were created by God to reflect his image and to worship him, but they are also sinners who have disobeyed a holy God, and they need to know this! Children, like adults can have their relationship with God restored through the redemptive work of Christ. We know these things well, after all, that’s why we are involved in children’s and youth ministry. But sometimes we forget Kennedy’s fourth point – “our children are potential brothers and sisters in Christ”. One day as we stand before our Father we will see some of those children and young people standing beside us as brothers and sisters and fellow heirs with Christ. What a positive motivation this should be in our ministry.

Whether you are a church member or a parent Psalm 78:3-7 tells us that we are responsible for teaching the gospel to the next generation. I love these words “…arise and tell them to their children so that they should set their hope in God”. God wants the next generation to set their hope in him, and he has given us the responsibility but also the privilege of telling them. I wonder do you see it as a task to be completed or as a joy to share.

Kennedy gives a helpful list of reasons to as to why as a church we should disciple the next generation intentionally. He also takes some time to show how much time a child spends with their parents and how much gospel potential there is – both intentionally (for example having family devotions), or unintentionally in the ordinary moments of life when they watch and learn from how their parents behave. He concludes that they “benefit from the combined influences of godly parents and the discipleship ministries of their local church”.

If after reading all the great reasons to disciple the next generation found in chapter one you still don’t feel enthused, think about this one: “The Saviour has pursued and found you. Now you have the privilege of carrying the good news to little ones, and persevering with them throughout their lives”.

Chapter two traces the history of youth ministry through the years from Martin Luther while also giving the pros and cons of the various types. Take some time to consider which type your church leans more towards ad whether that is helpful for the children and young people for whom you care, or if some changes need to be made. As Kennedy rightly points out, the aim is not for well behaved children who can sit through the church service, but instead to be shown the Saviour and to be changed by him. He concludes that the church and the parents both have a responsibility to work together to see the next generation come to know and love Jesus.


Jared Kennedy has included some reflection questions at the of this section:

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 1:31-2:5. What one thing would you change about your ministry to better embody this biblical model?
  2. Even though parents are to pass on faith to their children (Deut 6:1-12), we can idolise and idealise the family in ways that become barriers to the gospel. Is the tendency of parents in your church community to have a drop-off mentality—entrusting church professionals with the primary responsibility for teaching the children? Or do they tend to over-prioritise the family—thinking their person values, practice of family-discipleship, or educational choices will ensure their kids will turn out right?

    Blog Archive

Let’s Read: Spurgeon the Pastor: Recovering a Biblical and Theological Vision for Ministry Let's Talk: Surviving Ministry Staff & Students Favourite Books of 2022 Let's Read: Spurgeon the Pastor: The Church Gathered BYE Teams Hugh D. Brown Lectures How I spent my sabbatical Let’s Read Spurgeon the Pastor: The Church Identified 1st Year Reflections from Andrew and Debbie Second Year Placement (Josh and Glenn) Final Year Reflection: Chris Banks Let’s Read Spurgeon the Pastor: The Church Functioning New Library Books (April 2023) Easter Reflection 2023 Irish Baptist Historical Society Lecture Report on the Life of Hugh Orr Let's Read: Spurgeon the Pastor: The Church Multiplying Friends of the College May 2023 Let's Read: Reflections on Spurgeon the Pastor by Geoff Chang Student Reflections on Graduation 2023 Where will our students will be serving this summer? Pray Without Ceasing: A Week of Summer Prayer 2023 Reflections on returning to Peru Recognition Service Report 2023 Commencement Service Report 2023 Cross Cultural Report in Ireland Cross Cultural Reports 2023 2 Short Book Reviews Let's Read: Keeping Your Children's Ministry On Mission: Practical Strategies For Discipling The Next Generation by Jared Kennedy Let's Read: When Children Become Brothers And Sisters What's in a name? Evangelism Teams 2023: Coleraine and Keady Evangelism Teams 2023: Castlederg and Tobermore Let's Read: Welcoming and Safeguarding Book Review: Weakness Our Strength A Strange Man from Another World
Let’s Read: The Path to Being a Pastor: A Guide for the Aspiring Graduate Updates Tribute How to Avoid Becoming a Graceless Theological Thug Let's Read: The Path to Being a Pastor Hugh D. Brown Lectures—Understanding and Applying Zephaniah Book Review: Children of Abraham: A Reformed Baptist View of the Covenants by David Kingdon Graduate Updates: Laetitia Let's Read: The Path to Being a Pastor (chapters 5-12) New Books in the Library Friends of the College—March 2022 Graduate Updates: Andrew Let's Read: The Path To Being A Pastor (chapters 13-23) Deacons The Risen Christ Changes Everything Why Four Gospels? Let's Read: The Path to Being a Pastor (Chapters 24–27) The College Graduation MA Missions Module Reflection Student Reflections (first and second year) Book Review: The Crucible of Leadership Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church? (Introduction) Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church? (Introduction) Friends of the College: September 2022 Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church—You’re Beautiful Commencement Report Cross Cultural Placements 1 Cross Cultural Placements 2 Cross Cultural Placements 3 Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church—Beauty Demonstrated 1st Year Reflection (Ana Rut) Evangelism Teams 2022 (Armagh and Cavan) Evangelism Team 2022 (Ballycrochan & Comber) Let's Read: Living Beautifully Let's Read: Why Should We Love The Local Church “Always winter and never Christmas” Three Kings
Let’s Read Irish Baptist College Conference (Online) From Intern to Undergraduate (Emily Middleton) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Reason for Redemption Baptists and Revival in the Long 18th Century Second Year Placements From Intern to Undergraduate (Josh Brown) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The What and Why of Holiness Final Year During A Pandemic 2nd Year Placement Experience Friends of the College 2021 Update The Art of Reading More Books Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Real Possibility of Holiness A Basic Easter Fact The Servant King Podcast Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — You Are Holy Third Year Reflection Gospel Guardians: Protecting the Purity of the Gospel for Future Generations Graduation 2021 Book Review: Succeeding at Seminary Let's Read: The Hole in Our Holiness — A Work in Progress Why the Irish Baptist College is Vital to the Health of the Association A Good News Story: The Ministry Partnership Scheme Why Study the Biblical Languages? Profit in Toil: A Short Message on A Level Results Day Let's Read: Small Preaching Recognition Service Report 2021 Sin Forgiven: Nourishment for Life and Joy for Living Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Character of the Preacher Commencement Service Report Placement God Rejoices over His People: A Meditation on Zephaniah 3:17 Let’s Read: Small Preaching—Constructing the Sermon Evangelism Teams: Newcastle and Brannockstown Evangelism Teams: Stonepark and North Belfast Christian Fellowship First Year Reflections (Reuben and Andrew) Some New Books Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Craft of Preaching Let's Read: Small Preaching—What is God Saying? A Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘The coming of the light’ Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘Life, Light & Glory’
Time to read Genesis...again Friends of the College - January 2020 Friends of the College - January 2020 Finances Tribute to Marion Craig The Resilient Pastor: Surviving & Thriving in Ministry Just a Blow-in? What is new on the shelves at IBC? Friends of the College - February 2020 Four Reasons to Study Theology Academically From Spain to Moira Testimonial Financial Update Friends of the College – March 2020 Irish Baptist Historical Society: The Mayflower Thomas Patient: the Father of the Irish Baptist Church Testimonials The Pastors’ Conference: An Encouraging Privilege Testimonials (part-time studies) In the worst of times: COVID-19 and the Book of Ruth Friends of the College - April 2020 The Long Wait: Victory Delayed Testimonials - Preparation for Ministry and Evening Classes The Leadership Podcast Testimonials - Ladies Study Fellowship The Leadership Podcast (part 2) Friends of the College - May 2020 Reflections from the Student Chairman Why do we teach the Old Testament? Reflections on first year at IBC Friends of the College - June 2020 Why do we teach Romans? IBC Placement Is Church History a Thing of the Past? Friends of the College - July 2020 Friends of the College – August 2020 Friends of the College September 2020 Recognition and Graduation Service Introducing the Irish Baptist College’s New Logo Commencement Service Friends of the College - October 2020 Filled with the Spirit: Soundings in Luke’s Theology of the Holy Spirit The Famous Five: The Abiding Relevance of the Solas of the Reformation Friends of the College - November 2020 The Importance of Theological Training in Fulfilling the Great Commission First Year Reflections — Tim Houston Singing: The Place of Theology in Corporate Worship New Library Books Friends of the College – Unite to Pray – December Christmas Reflections
Agree and Close notice.

By continuing on our website you agree with our Privacy Policy and to the use of cookies by third party plugins. Find out more here