Mark 9:36-37 — “He took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”
Jesus explains that when we receive a child into our care in the name of Jesus, we are receiving Jesus Himself. The importance of nurturing children, loving them with Christ’s love, and providing them with strong Bible teaching cannot be over-emphasized.
Luke 18:15-17 — “They brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
It’s interesting that even though the disciples tried to push the children out of the way, Jesus welcomed the children into the center of things. And isn’t that just where children want most to be – right in the middle of whatever is happening. As a church, we can encourage children to be right in the middle of our programs and our congregation – stressing the importance of bringing children to Jesus and exposing them to God and His Word at every opportunity.
II Timothy 3:15 — “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Paul mentions that Timothy developed his genuine faith as a very young boy. The children who come into our household of faith can be taught to know the Scriptures at a very young age, so they can become wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
I Peter 5:2 — “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.”
God calls elders of the church to be shepherds of the flock that is under their care. Some of the flock are children, and God tells the church to feed and nurture these little ones while they are in our care. We have a responsibility to give children the best Christian care possible, introducing them to God and His Word as soon as they come into our flock, no matter how young they may be.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 — “This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
This is our prayer for each of the children we minister to. Our top priority is to see that children come to know God through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.