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Mercy Hill Kids & Youth: Our Mission Explained

6/21/18 | by Nick Weber

    Mercy Hill Kids and Youth ministries exist to partner with parents to reach and raise the next generation for Christ. 

    “To partner with parents”

    There are two mistakes that are commonly made with regard to children’s and youth ministries:

    1. From the side of the church, we must admit that a church’s children’s ministry can often be so focused on ministering to the kids that come through their doors each Sunday that they miss the strategic importance of partnering with the parents who are with these same kids all week long.
    2. From the side of the parents, on the other hand, it seems there is often a tendency to overplay the importance of their church’s children’s ministry in the spiritual life of their kids—as if that’s where the real discipleship and growth will take place for them.

    In both cases, it’s the role of the parent that is being neglected.

    God, on the other hand, speaks eloquently of the high calling He has placed on parents to be the leading influence for Him in the lives of their children.  Consider Deuteronomy 6:4-9 as a prime example:

    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

    Before any pastor or leader is called to evangelize and disciple a child, God calls the parents of that child to the task!  Because this same emphasis is found again and again throughout the Scriptures,[1] it is our conviction that any ministry seeking to reach children should emphasize it in their own mission as well.

    Do we want to do our best to reach your kids with the gospel during our Sunday classes and special events throughout the year?  Absolutely!  But we also want to equip you to do the same every day of the week and all the year long—“when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

    Therefore, Mercy Hill Kids and Youth ministries exist “to partner with parents . . .” 

    “To reach and raise the next generation”

    When we think of the mission field we often think of someplace on the other side of the world with a sea or two in between.  We talk about the 10/40 window and unreached people groups.  But do we realize that with the birth of every child it’s as if God brings that 10/40 window to us?!  We take an unreached person home with us from the hospital wrapped warmly in a blanket and strapped tightly in a car seat.  The boundary line of the mission field lay not out there somewhere across oceans, but right here across from us in the living room, sitting next to us in high chairs around our dinner tables.  To be sure, we desire to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.  But we begin by bringing the gospel to our children.

    At Mercy Hill Kids and Youth, we believe that our volunteers are not mere "babysitters"—they are missionaries, sent ones of God!  When they enter the classroom on a Sunday morning, they enter the mission field.

    Therefore, Mercy Hill Kids and Youth ministries exist to partner with parents “to reach and raise the next generation . . .”[2]

    “For Christ”

    More than anything our kids need Jesus.  Too often a church’s children’s and youth ministries can become about something less than this.  It can become about providing kids with a solid friend group, or entertaining kids with fun activities, or instructing kids with biblical principles and commands, or mobilizing kids towards some sort of service or social action.  All of these are fine and well in their place, but they are not the central, the fundamental, need of our children.  They need Jesus!  They need to meet Him, to see Him, to hear Him, to connect the dots between His work on the cross and the deep longings of their little hearts.  Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory,[3] the climax of His plan,[4] the Savior of the world,[5] the Fountain of living water,[6] the Hope of eternal life,[7] and so much more.  And He is all of this, not just for adults, but also, and especially, for kids![8]

    Therefore, Mercy Hill Kids and Youth ministries exist to partner with parents to reach and raise the next generation “for Christ.”[9]


    [1] Cf. Gen 18:19; Deut 4:9-10; 6:20-25; 11:19; 32:46; Ps 78:4-7; Prov 22:6; Eph 6:4; 2 Tim 3:14-15
    [2] For a humorous take on this point see: Father of Three Wonders When He’ll Get a Chance to Influence Others for Christ.
    [3] Heb 1:3
    [4] Luke 24:27, 44
    [5] John 4:42; 1 John 4:14
    [6] John 4:10; 7:38; Rev 7:17
    [7] Titus 3:7
    [8] Matt 21:16; Luke 10:21; 18:16-17
    [9] For more on this point see: David, Goliath, and the Gospel.