Children’s Ministry Prayer Challenge Week 7 Focus: Children in Our Churches

December 17, 2020

Our beloved United Methodist Church, especially our California Nevada Conference, is offering a table of connectional diversity through our very rich cultures that our children are witnessing and growing with in their journeys of life and faith.

Ethnic churches have confronted and are still facing the challenge of ASSIMILATION[1] into the dominant White culture. But as our UMC is very much engaged in “DISMANTLING RACISM,” we are also helping and teaching our children to be engaged and learn the empowering transformation of the church through ACCULTURATION[2]. Acculturation is one of the ways to stand up against racism and it could be an arm in promoting DE-COLONIZATION. The General Board of Discipleship is offering a five-series webinar titled, “DE-COLONIZING THE CHURCH,”[3] that you are strongly encouraged to consider registering and attend. You may find the lessons helpful in the education our children in standing up with us in Dismantling Racism in the UMC.
 
We would be very excited to hear the responses of our children at church if we were to ask them what HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE to them in Jesus Christ is when we stand up together in Dismantling Racism. For to our children that the Kingdom of God belongs.[4]
 
WORD:                    Jeremiah 1:4-9
                                                      The LORD’s word came to me:
                                                      “Before I created you in the womb I knew you;
                                                      before you were born I set you apart;
                                                      I made you a prophet to the nations.”
                                                      “Ah, LORD God,” I said, “I don’t know how to speak because I’m only a child.”
                                                      The LORD responded,
                                                      “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a child.’
                                                      Where I send you, you must go;
                                                      what I tell you, you must say.
                                                      Don’t be afraid of them,
                                                      Because I’m with you to rescue you,”
                                                      declares the LORD.
                                                      Then the LORD stretched out his hand,
                                                      touched my mouth, and said to me,
                                                      “I’m putting my words in your mouth.”[5]
 
WISDON:               When it comes to prayer, faith, and acceptance of God’s nature, never underestimate children’s ability to understand and engage. In these imaginative years of natural spirituality, it is our job to recognize the deep level of formation that is happening in their minds and hearts.[6]
 
PRAYER:                                   
Pray for:

  • Children who are missing opportunities for spiritual growth, learning and socializing with their friends at church through Worship, Sunday School, and service
  • Children who are missing the important faith forming rituals and traditions of the Advent and Christmas seasons: Christmas pageants, lighting the Advent Wreath in worship, Christmas caroling parties, Las Posadas, and more
  • Others (as you name them . . . )
 
 
 
[1] Italics ours
[2] Italics ours
[4] Mark 10:14 (New Revised Standard Version of the Bible)
[5] Contemporary English Bible
[6] Sarah Flannery from her book, Children and Family Ministry Handbook