Biblical Principles For Children’s Work -- By: Larry D. Pettegrew

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 10:3 (Fall 1967)
Article: Biblical Principles For Children’s Work
Author: Larry D. Pettegrew

Biblical Principles For Children’s Work

Larry D. Pettegrew

The book shelves of church libraries and Christian book stores today are filled with books on how to work with children. Anything a children’s worker could possibly be interested in is discussed in these books. No doubt many of these books are worthwhile, and valuable information and ideas can be gleaned from their pages.

There is a definite need, however, to return to the basics in children’s work. Unfortunately, methods have too often become the end instead of the means to accomplish the Biblical ends. Even more unfortunately, many of the methods used for working with children are not based on any Biblical principles at all. Some methods may even contradict Bible teaching. In the very least, many children’s workers do not know why they are using certain methods, or what Biblical goals they are trying to reach.

The following discussion is not an attempt to divorce all methods from Biblical principles. Interspersed with the principles are some methods that have proved successful in working with junior age children. The discussion, rather, is an attempt to show that there are definite basic principles that God has set down in His Word for children’s work. All methods for working with children must therefore be based on these principles if eternal spiritual results are to be obtained.

Have A Biblical Goal

An all-inclusive principle of children’s work is to have a Biblical goal. The goal of all children’s work is to saturate the hearts and minds of children with the Word of God. This may seem too simple at first, but it is basic in making young disciples for Christ.

The Biblical goal and unsaved children. Certainly this goal makes sense in considering the evangelistic outreach of children’s work. The only way that unsaved children will be reached for Christ is through the Bible and its message. There is no other substitute. The Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? … So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:13–17). Paul tells Timothy in II Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” As one children’s worker put it:

“Our object, then is to lead the child to or towards God, to impart to him or her such knowledge of the Scriptures of T...

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