Youth Worker Devotions: Kingdom Children
“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
This weeks you worker devotion focuses on Jesus’ comments to His disciples on being ‘great’ in the Kingdom of Heaven. The juxtaposition (placing side by side for contrast) of the high esteem of receiving a child in the name of Christ and the peril named by Christ to those who would harm a child is remarkable.
Welcoming a child in the name of Christ:
- Leading children to Christ is of utmost importance to Jesus.
- It’s preceded by and included in the discourse on greatness in the kingdom.
Harming a child/preventing them to know Christ:
- indicates causing a child to stumble and deviate significantly in their relationship with God.
- damage done is a pronouncement of judgement on the one who causes it.
- Jesus does not mix words
- This passage, included in the other synoptics (Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2) is a strong warning against doing harm to those Christ has entrusted us youth workers to.
During this time of year, I look back at the work my hands were involved with in youth ministry. I seek to examine my heart, and have Christ examine it, with the Holy Spirit to help me realize which things I did that helped and those that harmed my youth’s relationship with Christ. More than just escaping penal judgement, it is an exhortation to do that work that helps bring youth to Christ.
My suggestion is to take some time this week and examine each aspect of youth ministry and your personal actions to see if it helps or harms the chances of your youth groupers to come to know Christ. After that, do so for those you supervise. Hold them accountable! Hold yourself accountable!