Child Discipleship: Chairs, Tables, Benches or Floor?


The Discipler and 2nd graders sat on the floor huddled together deep in conversation; they hadn’t even noticed that I stood at the door listening.  


Mrs. A:       This has been a great discussion, who has a prayer request?

Jacob:        (Hesitantly) I do. (Then he sat there – quiet)

Mrs A:        (Reached across the circle and laid her hand on Jacob, she knew what was                               happening in his life, gently she encouraged) What is it Jacob?

Jacob:        (Barely at a whisper; everyone leaned towards him) Tomorrow I have to                        tell the judge if I want to live with my father, my mother, or my grandmother. I                   don’t know what to do; I love all of them.

Mrs. A and the other children drew in close to Jacob and began to pray for him. Yes there were tears – mine included.

Imagine this scene but the children are sitting on chairs at a table, what if they had been sitting on benches? Would Jacob have even shared his deepest need?

I am a big believer in doing ministry on the floor with children so we can be close to them. Remove all barriers between you and the children.

I was a Human Relations Major in college and one of the things that stuck with me was that psychologists don’t sit behind a desk when they are doing counseling because a desk is a concrete barrier between the psychologist and client.

When we are on the floor with the children we are one of them; we can reach each child – it all begins with a strong philosophy of child discipleship.  What is Child Discipleship?

Let the Children Come to Me And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. (Mark 10:13-16 ESV)

 What is your Philosophy behind the way you setup the children’s rooms in your church?

About Wanda

I have worked with children and families for over 40 years in both secular and Christian settings. • Following college I joined VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) and served in a migrant labor camp in Texas. • After VISTA I married Joe Parker. Joe was a Boy’s Club Director and we served in several inner city and barrio areas in So. California. • I served as Children’s Director and Family Pastor in three Orange County Churches. During this time I was a co—founder of CCMA • Right after the Los Angeles riots, and while serving as Family Pastor at Mariners Church in Newport Beach, Campus Crusade approached me to develop a reproducible ministry to reach children in inner city areas of America, known today as S.A.Y. Yes! Centers of America. • In 1998 I was invited along with 25 others, representing every continent of the world, to be part of a symposium in England. This was the initial gathering for the creation of a curriculum to equip people working with children living in difficult circumstances. Celebrating Children is taught today in Christian universities around the world. • In 2001 KidTrek was begun, a unique ministry to equip the Church to disciple children. Married for 47 years, I have three married children and eight grandchildren who walk with the Lord. The greatest gift a mother could ever have.
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