LITTLE ROCK, AR – Despite its longstanding popularity with American evangelicals and its incredible marketability to a world loaded with parents constantly looking to hand off their responsibilities to “professional” teachers, preachers and babysitters, there simply is no such thing as children’s church according to that most unmarketable and unpopular of books, the Bible.
“It’s just nowhere to be found in Scripture,” confirmed Jim Phillips of Bryant Second Baptist, where he used to dress up in clownish outfits, act goofy and tell silly stories to crowds of children siphoned away from their parents as a part of the Second Baptist’s “children’s church ministry” before he realized that there was no such ministry described anywhere in the Word of God. “I tried and tried to find it in there, believe me. But the idea of separating children from parents and teaching them at a radically dumbed-down, childish level isn’t an idea that came from the Bible. It’s an idea that came from public schools, and we see how well that’s working out.”
“So yeah, we don’t do that anymore.”
Since repenting of their children’s church ministry and reforming it out of existence, Second Baptist has seen its remaining families grow strong through the challenges that inherently come through following the perfect, sufficient Word of God in all areas of life. While some families left to seek babysitters and laziness-enabling children’s entertainment elsewhere, those that have remained are thankful for the challenge and growth that has come though building church and strengthening families biblically.
“If we believe that the Bible is both true and sufficient for real church building, and that everywhere Scripture addresses children in a church context it is assumed that the children are with their parents, then how could we possibly continue to separate children from parents for the purpose of entertaining and distracting them from the deeper things they need to see and hear?” explained Second Baptist Pastor Paul Shaw. “And how can we expect parents to be or become the serious, hands-on, depth-pursuing teachers that the Bible calls them to be if we’re enabling and encouraging the abandonment of their responsibilities through something as obviously unbiblical as children’s church?”
“It seems like the first thing being modeled – the first thing being taught – to both children and parents through something like children’s church is that Scripture is not enough.”
“And isn’t that the last thing any real Christian church ought to be modeling?”
“If we really want to have the power and beauty of the early church again, and if we really want to see our children grow into deep, mature Christian men and women who shake the world the way that the early church did, then maybe – just maybe – we should model biblical obedience more and Bozo the Clown less.”
You can also get a detailed look into what we’re doing and why we’re doing it by reading Mocking The Prophets Of Baal: The Beauty And Power Of Christian Satire (And Why So Many People Hate It) over at FireBreathingChristian.com.