Children’s Ministry and the Incarnation

Children’s Ministry is something in which I see many parallels to the Incarnation.  Something I like to do with kids is to physically get down to their level.  They are used to people looking down at them, so when an adult lowers themselves to their eye level it makes a difference.  With toddlers the effect is often noticeable immediately.  This is parallel to how Jesus lowered himself to our level in the incarnation.  From his dwelling in heaven he literally lowered himself to our eye level.

Working with children also means changing the way we speak.  A vocabulary that they can understand is a must.  Concrete language is important with younger children because they tend to take things literally.  Ask them if they want to ask Jesus into their heart and they may wonder how Jesus can fit into their hearts.  Explaining concepts like forgiveness often require stories and analogies.  Instead of whatever language is spoken in heaven, Jesus spoke his message in Aramaic and Hebrew.  Anyone who has tried to translate words from another language knows how difficult it can be when there is not a good equivalent.  Take New Testament Greek for example.  Four different words are translated into love in our English Bibles, which means we miss a bit of the original meaning.

There are likely other similarities that I have not thought of, yet one more is worth mentioning.  No matter how much one tries to get on the level of a child, they will always remain an adult.  Some adult have a condescending attitude about lower themselves to work with children.  Jesus remained secure in his Godhood, despite taking on manhood.  He found it a joy to humble Himself to take on the nature of a man, even that of a servant.  Entering into a child’s world is always a joy and a wonder.

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2 comments

  1. benjaminfunkhouser · August 26, 2010

    This is good. It’s helpful to think of God coming down to us and reaching down to our level. Reminds me of Psalm 31:2 where David asks God to “bow down His ear to Him.” It’s crazy to picture God stooping down from His awesome glory to listen to us. Amazing to think that He made us-what worth that gives us, to be made by a God who loves us.

  2. roadgeon · August 27, 2010

    This is mostly useless speculation, but I do wonder if language is even used in heaven to communicate. Maybe it will be something that is not needed, but is used just for the pleasure of it. Mostly I am looking forward to the ability to communicate perfectly, with out the effects of the fall.

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