I wanted to start a blog for a long time. When I finally found the time to get onto wordpress and sort through all the information on how to start a blog, it took me several months to get it up and running. It was for one reason…I needed a name. My husband laughed at me and told me just to keep going, but I just couldn’t without finding the right name that represented what I wanted the blog to be about.
Finally, I decided on “Come Paidia”. Paidia is the greek word meaning “little children” used by Jesus in verses like Matthew 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” As a Director of Children’s Ministry this verse is constantly in the back of my mind. In fact sometimes I can’t stop thinking about those words and questioning if the church today is really living up to this challenge from Jesus.
Anyone who has recently attended a conference for children’s ministry or Christian education may argue that children in the church are being recognized more than ever. There is everything you could think of out there. Curricula containing eye-catching videos, musicians, entertainers, music dvds, electronic check-ins, companies that transform your classroom into sets, props, books for parents, and more. In the process of choosing a curriculum for our Vacation Bible School, I spent hours searching through the many choices, imagining children walking into the church and entering everything from a jungle filled with pandas, to New York City, to the streets of Jerusalem. Everything is about child-friendly, eye-catching, entertaining fun to capture kids hearts for Jesus.
However, I often wonder if all of these great programs, curricula and ideas are really “welcoming the little children” in the way Jesus meant. I can’t help but believe there is something we are missing. There is something in the way Jesus interacted with children that makes me believe that if Jesus were here today He would challenge our current trends in children’s ministry. As I continue to read, study, and discuss this topic I will unpack my discoveries on how Jesus might be challenging us to question how we welcome the paidia.