Something strange has been happening to the children in our meetings.
They are growing! I don’t mean getting taller or older. Those things take time. They are growing in their understanding.
More often they stay in the main room to study with their families.
They are able to recognize Bible verses, follow the charts, and take great notes. They have been practicing these skills for months in the children’s class.
It is a mistake to think that children cannot grow until they reach a certain age.
Schools separate children based on their age, and churches have different classes for children all the way up to 18!
Where is their exit strategy? There is none. So, the 18 year old children exit the church door as soon as they are old enough to drive on their own. They were kicked out of “real church” for so long it becomes habit to leave.
The parents are left asking, “why don’t they go to church meetings any more?” Answer: they were never in the “real church” meetings.
They were raised to go out of the adult meeting, and so when they get older that is what they do.
Raising a child in the way he should go does not mean sending them out of “real church” to watch Veggie Tales. That is called sacred babysitting.
Below is a video that was made several years ago. All of the children in the video have since graduated the class and sit through our main lessons with their parents, but it is an example of what the children do in our oldest children’s class.
At the time some adults commented that the material was at their level.
That is on purpose.
The children’s teachers get their lessons by copying mine from the website and adapting it to the children. If they can eat adult food, why can’t they learn adult doctrine?
Some of the children in the video are no longer in the children’s class. They are no longer children in understanding (1 Cor 14:20). They have grown up.
Our teachers do not get paid; there is no job security; and no motivation to keep the children as long as they can.
The unspoken goal is for the teachers to be put out of a job by the children growing quickly. When children can study with the rest of us, they are encouraged to join the rest of us as soon as possible.
It is possible for children to grow quickly. They must be taught to reach beyond their years. The result is that they gain wisdom beyond their years.
This is called growing up. Now if only they could grow taller.